PRESS RELEASE: 1 September 2012

Change of ICC Chief Prosecutor changes nothing

The Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda has been sworn in as the International Criminal Court's new chief prosecutor, replacing the scandal-ridden and incompetent Luis Moreno Ocampo.

ICCwatch Director Marc Glendening notes however:

"There are several clear reservations about Bensouda. While she has stated that she is ready to lead the fight against the world's worst war criminals, she did not mention that the ICC will ignore any crimes against humanity or war crimes committed by western or NATO forces in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere."

Bensouda has also been intimately associated with the ICC's deeply questionable focus on Africa. The court has been the target of widespread criticism from within Africa as every one of the 25 suspects who have been the target of investigations or prosecutions to date are African.

Regarding the ICC's African bias, ICCwatch Director Marc Glendening has noted:

"Fatou Bensouda was chosen by the ICC's western paymasters because she is African. She is very unlikely to have the courage or ability to change the ICC's anti-African bias. No amount of window dressing will disguise the fact that the ICC is a European-funded and European-directed instrument of European foreign policy. The reality is that the ICC's focus will continue to be exclusively on Africa and Africans."

There are also considerable doubts about Bensouda's competence as a lawyer. As a deputy chief prosecutor under Ocampo, Bensouda was intimately associated with the repeated abuses of the legal process in the ICC's prosecution of Democratic Republic of the Congo national Thomas Lubanga.

The trial took several years and was stopped on two occasions by trial judges because of grotesque prosecutorial misconduct, including the withholding hundreds of items of exculpatory evidence from the judges and Lubanga's defence. In any real court, as opposed to a political show trial, such misconduct would have ended the case there and then.

Marc Glendening notes:

"Bensouda has been with the ICC since 2004, serving as Ocampo's deputy. As such she has been at the centre of the prosecutorial irregularities that have been a hallmark of the Court. Many senior ICC lawyers resigned the ICC in disgust: Bensouda chose to stay. The ICC continues to be an illegitimate and corrupt instrument of European foreign policy."

For more information concerning ICCwatch's critique of the International Criminal Court, please refer to www.iccwatch.org


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MARC GLENDENING - 0044 (0)7896 511 108 -or- 0044 (0)20 7306 3302
Email: mail @ iccwatch.org



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