GUINEA: Letter to ICC Head, Fatou Bensouda, About Her Post-Election Statement

COMMENT

After two Guinean presidential elections in a row were stolen by Alpha Conde, both fraught with provable, staggering fraud, the people of Guinea are wondering today if they will ever participate in an election where their vote counts. Not only have they been disenfranchised in both elections, but these are the citizens among whom the Guinean government massacred and raped in an audacious attack on an opposition rally on September 28, 2009. It was obvious from the start that probable war crimes were committed. But, before a case can make it to the International Criminal Court, the crimes must first be tried in the court system of the country in which the crimes were committed. Indictments of the perpetrators of the September 28, 2009 massacre were highly unlikely because the case required the government to prosecute itself. Despite reassurances from the ICC head, Fatou Bensouda, that crimes against humanity had taken place, Guinean officials feigned interest in pursuing the case handing out a few indictments — just enough to keep the case in limbo between Guinean courts and the ICC. Before long, Guineans heard and saw less of Fatou Bensouda and it is highly unlikely Guineans will ever receive justice.When ICC prosecutor sent out a statement on October 14, 2015, about post-election violence to the people of Guinea, it sent the opposition into a tailspin. In rather terse language she notified “political actors” that she would prosecute them for any of an array of crimes under ICC jurisdiction. Glaringly lacking in her statement were similar warnings to the Guinean government and a general call to use restraint. Her statement is proof that she is doing the bidding of the Conde government and interested international actors to scare opposition protesters off the streets and, most likely, into jails. Guineans are not lost on the irony that Bensouda did nothing to further the September 28, 2009 massacre case, but she has been drafted to be Conde’s “cop” to police an opposition that has every reason in the world to be in the streets. .
Below is Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s statement followed by a statement from Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon which has been working on issues associated wit the 2009 massacre.

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, following growing tensions reported in Guinea
As part of its ongoing preliminary examination, my Office has been closely following developments in the situation in Guinea, including as they relate to the risk of possible violence leading to crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”).
The Presidential election in Guinea is following its course. However, reports of growing tensions have recently emerged.
I would like to reiterate my call for calm and restraint to all political actors, and their supporters. I wish to reiterate that anyone who commits, orders, incites, encourages or contributes in any other way to the commission of atrocity crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the ICC is liable to prosecution either in Guinea or at the Court in The Hague.
My Office is closely following developments of the situation in Guinea.
OTPNewsDesk@icc-cpi.int
Source: Office of the Prosecutor
Elections in Guinea-letter Pottal Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon to Mrs Fatou Bensouda

New York October 16, 2015

Dear lady,
For the past six years, our organization, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon, and many associations of victims or human rights have been constantly challenging you personally to accelerate a referral to the ICC for crimes against humanity of 28 September 2009 in Guinea. Given the state of decay in which political regimes have deliberately kept the judicial system in Guinea, the Guinean people have hoped that the ICC would be a viable substitute for prosecution of political crimes in our country.
As of 14 October 2015, following the presidential elections, your office has made ​​a statement calling for calm and restraint but also threatening to prosecute people who commit crimes or incite violence.
If your appeal was limited to appeal for calm, it would be commendable. But, in this case, your veiled threats are regrettable in many respects. They echo the words of the Minister of Justice of Guinea. They leave the impression of collusion with those in power with a regrettable ignorance of acts recently committed by the security forces crimes, but also the frustrations of Guineans to have serious deficiencies during the election recorded and addressed. It is the legitimate and inalienable right of every Guinean – political leader or not – to rebel against any failure of governments – especially in an electoral consultation matter. But, by making threats that implicitly target the opponents of the regime, you give the impression to trample these legitimate and fundamental rights. Surprisingly, you seem to favor the maintenance of peace at any cost at the expense of justice and you leave a perception of bias towards those who are viewed by the Guinean people as usurpers of power through electoral manipulations.
If during the last six years, your office was not satisfied that terse statements on crimes against humanity in 2009, your calls would have had more chance of being taken seriously. Better, more drastic and concrete actions of the ICC in prosecuting criminals were the most effective way to ensure elections without violence and acceptance of results by all stakeholders.
Instead, for six years, your office has kept a disturbing silence about heinous crimes committed by the security forces of the regime which, despite the complaints of the victims were never heard by the Guinean justice system. You may recall:y include: the numerous killings of protesters, the attack and the summary execution of citizens dormant in Zogota, the kidnapping of youth in Conakry and their secret transfer to a military camp in Upper Guinea where, following 10 days of torture, two of them lost their lives, arbitrary arrests of military conspiracy rumors etc.
Moreover, despite repeated calls from all sides, we have not heard you disavow the presence in the Guinean government of officers accused of crimes against humanity for which your office is in charge of preliminary investigations. Finally, the ICC found no objection to the flagrant denial of justice by which not only the Guinean government prohibits Daddis Camara to return to his country, but also appear before the court, following his indictment for crimes of 28 September 2009.
These unfortunate oversights contradict the mission of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC. The ICC has guaranteed a wide independence and discretion to open and manage investigations and to propose the indictment of the accused in gathering evidence. However, in the case of Guinea, neglect and the perception of bias demonstrated by you has put that independence in a bad light. Incidentally, they tarnish the image of the jurisdiction of the ICC which remains a last resort for many African citizens living in countries with ruthless dictatorships.
As always, our organization and many victims’ organizations in Guinea assure you of their full availability to work with you in the search for justice. At the same time, our determination to spare no effort to bring about a Guinea rid of a gangrene of impunity is the reason for our public questioning of you.
Please believe in our regards.
The Central Committee of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon

Enlargements:
· Minister of Justice of Guinea
· Minister for Human Rights of Guinea
· FIDH
· OGDH
· Guinean associations of victims: AVIPA, AFADIS, AGORA, Camp Boiro
· Human Right Watch
· Human Right First
““““`· State Department Global Justice

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Guineenews: Bah Oury “Cellou and I do not have the same vision, we do not have the same political orientation” (FR-EN)

BAHOURYBAH OURY
This is a Guineenews interview with Bah Oury, Executive Vice-President of the UFDG. After Alpha Conde attempted to frame Bah Oury as the mastermind of a “fake” attack on Conde’s home on July 18-19, 2011, Bah Oury received word that military soldiers were on their way to kill him.  He was forced to flee Guinea and unable to return for fear of his life.  He lives in exile in France.
 

The following link will take you to the French version.  The English translation was created via Google and appears further below

Exclusif – Bah Oury : « Cellou et moi n’avons pas la même vision des choses, nous n’avons pas la même orientation politique »

 

Exclusive – Bah Oury “Cellou and I do not have the same vision, we do not have the same political orientation”

Invited to Amsterdam in the Netherlands by the movement justice Oury Bah in order to facilitate a debate on human rights in Guinea, the first vice-president of the UFDG, has spent much of the evening answer questions about the rather strained relationships with the current leader of the second political force, Cellou Dallein Diallo. Activists UFDG seem not to understand why their positions between president and vice president are slow to bring the unity of their party. Ultimately, Oury Bah assured the activists UFDG he is ready to do its best to sit at the round table with Dallein Cellou Diallo, chat with him and then again on new bases with a roadmap. At the end of the discussion, he answered questions from Guineenews ©. Read!

© Guineenews: Mr. Oury Bah, you’re the first vice president of the UFDG. You are here in the Netherlands at the invitation of Justice Movement Bah Oury. Can we know the objectives of your visit to Holland?

Bah Oury: There are two things. First, meet the Guinean community living here, since this is the first time I’m in Amsterdam. And as you you realized the discussion was fruitful, friendly and honest with representatives of the Guinean community. Secondly, it is to meet with officials of the International Criminal Court to discuss the evolution of the situation of human rights in Guinea since the arrival of Mr. Alpha Condé to power. Trying to link the massacres that took place on 28 September 2009 and then continued the same policy during the last three years with Zogota massacres, slaughters in Forest Guinea, 14, 15 and 16 July and also with the elimination of fifty activists UFDG in peaceful protests that took place during the presidency of Mr. Alpha Condé.

© Guineenews: This afternoon (Sunday, November 3, note) you have facilitated a debate on Human Rights, is what you feel as a victim of injustice? If so by whom and why?

Bah Oury: Please ask me. I’m a fighter for democracy and freedom. So I know the sacrifice that must be paid for all those who engage resolutely in this fight. I personally do not consider myself a victim because I’m an actor, I’m a fighter and I know that there are sacrifices and sometimes the ultimate militants or combatants who are fighting for democracy and freedom sacrifices pay. I currently live in exile painfully, I understand and I assume, it does not make me regret what I’m doing, instead it reinforces my position and my commitment to fight for the advent real democracy in Guinea. This fight, I am engaged me in a long time.

© Guineenews: What are the legal means you have to repair this injustice?

Bah Oury: As I said, I’m a fighter. I work for democratic change in Guinea, a real democratic change. My strength and energy are directed in this fight. Means that I use, it is the legal means, the awareness and bring people to realize to take its destiny in its hands to demand real change, even that it brings the departure of Mr. Alpha Condé.

Speaking of human rights, as was the subject of the debate you just animate. Recently thirty youths were arrested in Conakry and taken to a camp in the country. These young people have testified after their release they have suffered all kinds of torture and humiliation. In fact one of them did not survive. What do you comment on that?

As soon as I learned this with those in the country, we organized to inform the international public opinion that there are atrocities that are being committed against thirty young. I am pleased that the combined efforts between grassroots activists and those who are outside helped alert international opinion. All this shows the need for Guineans feel more challenged by the question of human rights in 50 years because this country live in appalling abuses on the part of leaders in place. And all this, I relaterai at the International Criminal Court. Continue reading “Guineenews: Bah Oury “Cellou and I do not have the same vision, we do not have the same political orientation” (FR-EN)”

Bah Oury Heads to The Hague to Meet with ICC Authorities Concerning Human Rights Abuses and Impunity in Guinea

BAHOURYBah Oury, VP of the UFDG opposition party

Press Release: the Justice Movement Bah Oury:  Bah Oury to Visit the ICC

2013-10-25 8:03:08

The Justice Movement Bah Oury is pleased to inform the Guinean community in Belgium, Holland and across Europe that Mr Bah Oury, the first Vice-President of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, will visit The Hague on 04 November 2013.

This visit is part of an interview with the authorities of the International Criminal Court on the issues of human rights and impunity in Guinea. The Justice Movement Bah Oury will take this opportunity to ask the International Criminal Court to require the Guinean authorities to try all those responsible for human rights violations alleged in Guinea.

In addition, Mr Bah Oury will use the trip to meet with the Guinean community of Holland on Saturday, November 2, 2013 in Amsterdam. Bah Oury and Guineans from Holland will discuss the socio-political situation in the country.

Contacts and address:

Holland phone: 0031 685 70 58 69

Belgium phone: 0032 492 19 18 49

Address: Potgieterstraat 34, 1053 Amsterdam.

The Justice Movement Bah Oury.

Strange Twists in Capt Dadis Camara’s Visit to Guinea: Camara’s Assassin Calls to Offer Condolences and Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Asks to Meet with Him

DADADAIS

CAPT. DADIS CAMARA

Between last night and this morning, Guinean websites have reported the following developments concerning Capt. Dadis Camara’s return to bury his mother, who died in Morocco last week.

But first, recall that:

Camara became leader of the military junta that took over after President Lansana Conte died in 2008. It was under Camara’s watch that the September 28, 2009, massacre and rapes of opposition protesters occurred. He is under indictment at the International Criminal Court for associated crimes against humanity. Camara has always maintained that Guinean politicians and high-ranking military officers played a key role and that he was left in the dark about the true intentions to commit a massacre and mass rape of women at the opposition rally at the stadium..

In December 2009, Toumba Diakite, Camara’s aide-de-camp, shot Camara in the head, wounding him gravely. He survived the attack and was airlifted to a Moroccan hospital. After his initial recovery, Guinea transferred him, against his will, to Burkina Faso in early 2010 to continue his convalescence. Camara was placed in the care of Burkina Faso president, Blaise Compare. Camara has been in Ougadougou ever since.

With an ICC indictment hanging over his head, it is doubtful that Camara will go down quietly or without taking others with him. In addition, in the matter of Diakite’s attempted assassination of him in 2009, Camara can and, if the opportunity presents itself, will implicate civilians and military involved in the assassination attack.

With his return to bury his mother, all of the foregoing, make him one “hot potato” for the Guinean government. If Camara were to travel to Conakry, which appears doubtful at this point, it would be incumbent on the government to apprehend him and send him to the Hague. But, having him at the Hague means he will tell all about everyone. It looks like the Guinean government has figured a way to keep him out of Conakry and limit his stay on Guinean territory to his home area of N’Zerekore, where his mother will be buried.

Yet, strange things are developing. Guinean websites and RFI are reporting:

-Toumba Diakite, who shot Camara in December 2009, called Camara to offer his condolences on the occasion of hi mother’s death. Camara’s relatives said the phone call lasted no more than three minutes and that Camara was not particularly heartened by the call.

-Camara arrived in Monrovia yesterday morning with the intention of travelling today or tomorrow to N’Zerekore. It is not certain if Camara will fly there or go via car. Camara is accompanied by Burkinabe bodyguards.

-Early Thursday morning, the remains of Camara’s mother were flown from Morocco to Conakry so that relatives living there could pay respects. After that, the body will be transferred to N’Zerekore for a funeral and burial on Sunday. Relatives said the Guinean government offered to fly the body to N’Zerekore, but they have contracted a hearse to carry the body instead.

-The Guinean government sent a delegation headed by Guinea’s First Lady to the home of relatives in Conakry to express condolences. The government has ordered two planes to fly from Conakry to N’Zerekore tomorrow for the Sunday funeral: one, to carry the body of Camara’s mother and some Conakry relatives and the second, to carry the First Lady and other government representatives.

-AND, the most amazing development. Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has asked to meet with Camara prior to his departure from Monrovia.

Guinea Oye will resist the temptation to speculate on what these events combined might mean, but will provide updates as they become available.

Guinea Update 6-17: Next March 6-28, Mining Madness, and Guinean Gov’t’s Sept. 28 Massacre Mumbo-Jumbo

July 29, 2011:  Guinean demonstration in front of the White House against Alpha Conde who was visiting Pres. Obama.  The rape of women during the state-sponsored massacre of Sept. 28, 2009, continue to go unaddressed by the Conde administration, one year later.

Opposition March Scheduled for June 28

In spite of a ban by the Conde government on ALL political gatherings, the opposition does not acknowledge the ban because the government cannot “outlaw freedom of speech and assembly.”

It is apparent that the wildly successful May 10 opposition march surprised and worried the government. The only way to prevent the world from seeing another 80,000+ opposition march is to impose the all-out ban.

Since May 10, the opposition made plans to march on a couple of occasions, but it appears that Conde supporters from his coalition the RPG-Arc-en-Ciel planned to counter march at the same time. In addition, there were rumors that the president’s coalition would be supplemented with Donzos (farmers), which assisted government forces in the brutality leveled at opposition supporters during their September 27, 2011 march.

Stay tuned . . .

More Mining Madness

Last week,Guinea Oye! posted an article which revealed new shenanigans in the great underworld of Guinean mining.

Two subsequent articles provide interesting supplemental information on the Guinean government’s sleight of hand:

DAVID GLEASON: Wheeling and dealing in Guinea

Published: 2012/06/08 08:22:01 AM

. . .On the other hand, I have heard associates of Condé’s son, Alpha Mohamed, have been bragging about putting “confiscated mining assets into vehicles they jointly own”.

Back to that $25m loan. The Guinean people have never been told about it, although the deal was signed by Lamine Fofana, the mines minister, and by Kerfalla Yansane, the finance minister. Nor has it appeared in the national budget.

It is all very mysterious.

Read the full article

DAVID GLEASON: Why genuine miners avoid Guinea

Published: 2012/06/14 09:47:46 AM

Guinea is awash with mineral resources, but many mining companies may be discouraged by political developments that leave them baffled.

Read the full article

September 28, 2009 Massacre: Speaking Mumbo-Jumbo

Taking the opportunity of Fatou Bensouda’s swearing-in a few days ago as the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Advocate General of the Guinean Court of Appeals, William Fernandez, spoke about the case of the September 28, 2009, stadium massacre and rape of opposition protesters.

Fatou Bensouda, as the Deputy Chief of the ICC, was the primary investigator of the September 28 massacre. A few months ago, she made a trip to Guinea to let officials know that if they are unable or unwilling to pursue the case, the ICC will take it over.

But, it appears that Mr. Fernandez, in his statement, made the water just murky enough to cover all his bases, without enlightening a soul.   “In this case we operate at our own pace, we have no pressure on us. It’s either one is able to judge, or we let the ICC take up the case. But for now, it’s we who are responsible for this issue.” 

Two years and 8 months since the massacre and not one person has been indicted. The international community is largely responsible for this. It feared the HUGE 40,000-50,000 Guinean army would revolt if members of the military came under indictment for the crimes committed. The case went cold at the ICC and, in the Guinean court system, no one can affirm that the case is being prosecuted, that is, with a straight face.

Justice delayed is justice denied. And, in Guinea, without justice there will be no peace.

GUINEA UPDATE 4-7-12: ICC Tells Guinea to Get On with 9-28 Prosecutions, UFDG Says CENI Prez’ Hand in the Till, and Conde’s “Phantom” Coalition

Oct. 2, 2009, Great Mosque Faycal, Conakry, Guinea:

  Five days after the Sept. 28 massacre, government presented 57 bodies to be identified.  This family had just discovered the body of a relative.  After 2 1/2 years, the massacre perpetrators continue to walk the streets of Conakry.  No justice, no peace.

GUINEA UPDATE – April 7, 2012

 

ICC Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, Visits Conakry to Check on Guinea’s “Progress” in Prosecuting Those Responsible for the September 28, 2009 Massacre

Fatou Bensouda, deputy prosecutor, and soon to be head prosecutor, of the ICC was in Conakry this week to check on the government’s progress in prosecuting the case of the September 28, 2009, massacre where over 200 were killed, over 100 women raped, 1,200 injured and an unknown number were disappeared. Bensouda met with government officials and victims of rape. In a press statement, she said if the Guinean government is not able to conduct the prosecution, the ICC will – “there is no third way.” (More on this next week.)

 

Forty Political Parties Join Alpha Conde’s Party in a New Alliance – RPG-Arc-en-Ciel

 Forty political parties have merged with Alpha Conde’s RPG, creating an alliance called – RPG-Arc-en-Ciel. Arc-en-Ciel was the name of the coalition that supported Alpha Conde in the 2010 presidential election. Guinea Oye is willing to bet that most of the 40 parties have less than five members each.

 

Cellou Dalein Diallo in Paris to Warn French Authorities that Legislative Elections Will Be a Fraudulent Bust

Opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, was in Paris earlier in the week and reportedly spoke with French authorities about the Guinean opposition’s concern over the electoral commission’s preparations for the legislative elections on July 8. The opposition continues to call for a restructuring of the CENI because it is not representative of the full political spectrum. The concern about the commission is so serious, the opposition plans a demonstration soon to demand an end to the CENI’s activities.

 

Guinea Bissau Opposition Forces ECOWAS-appointed Mediator, Alpha Conde, to Replace Himself

 After ECOWAS appointed Alpha Conde to mediate an election dispute in Guinea Bissau, the country’s opposition held a news conference to say that it did not need, nor want, Conde’s help. Now, the mediator, Conde, is in the awkward position of having to choose a new mediator to mediate the dispute for him. Given that the Guinean government says that the new mediator will be a person of high-rank within the government, will the Guinea Bissau opposition be more inclined to want someone of Conde’s choosing? Stay tuned.

 

UFDG Claims CENI President has His Hands in the Till – Big Time!

 Cellou Dalein Diallo’s party, the UFDG, is accusing CENI head, Louceny Camara of milking the legislative elections budget in order to enrich himself. According to the government’s records, Camara received $30 billion GNF for the elections and has spent $16 billion GNF. The UFDG claims that, without justification, Camara has requested $90 billion more.

 It should be noted that the EU and other members of the international community have been falling all over themselves to give Guinea money for the elections.  After all, this is the time for the international community to put its money where its mouth is.  Over the last several months the EU, UN, IMF, World Bank, etc., have been beating a path to Sekoutoureya Palace to announce that Guinea has made “significant progress” in its march towards democracy. Anyone who knows a lick about Guinea understands that Conde is driving the country towards tyranny.

The international community will consider Guinea finished with its political transition after it holds legislative elections.  When it does, the international community will need to tell one more huge untruth – Guinea is “fully democratic” — music to the ears of investors.  And, the only way to make that day come sooner rather than later, is to dump a lot of money into the coffers of the CENI to organize the elections. The problem is that this money will go in two directions, and neither are good:  CENI head, Camara, will use it to fund massive voting fraud so that  Alpha Conde “wins” a majority in the National Assembly and the rest of the money will go into his pocket. After all, Camara has a felony conviction for election fraud from the 2010 election which makes him a master at theft and deceit. “Fully democratic,” eh?

Fatou Bensouda to be ICC Top Prosecutor: Let’s Hope Indictments of Those Responsible for Sept. 28 Massacre are on Her “To Do” List

Sept. 28 — Lining up the dead

Fatou Bensouda, as the ICC ‘s Deputy Prosecutor, was the primary investigator on the Sept. 28, 2009 state-sponsored massacre of unarmed Guinean opposition members.  Over 150 people were killed, over 1,000 were injured, and over 100 women were brutally raped.  While investigating the incident, Bensouda stated that crimes against humanity had been committed.

But, suddenly, by mid-2010, the case went cold.  Unfortunately, the international community, frantic to have Guinea hold a presidential election in 2010, used the threat of ICC indictments to make sure the junta leader,  Dadis Camara, would not be inclined to return to Guinea to lead the military.  Actually, it was circumstances independent of the ICC (getting shot in the head, recuperation in Morocco, and a trip to Burkina Faso which became permanent) that keep Camara out of Guinea to this day.  But, an equally big concern for the international community loomed — Guinea’s 50,000 soldier military.  ICC indictments against soldiers responsible for the criminal acts of Sept. 28, could easily spin the military into a nation-wide revolt.  Such a turn of events could delay the 2010 election or cause it not to be held at all.  With Guinea’s legislative elections still ahead, the ICC investigation is likely to remain dormant for a while longer.

As a woman, as an African, as an investigator of Sept. 28, and now as the world’s top prosecutor, Ms. Bensouda knows that the hell visited upon the people of Guinea on Sept. 28 can only be addressed in a court proceeding. Hopefully, she will move the Guinean massacre higher up on her list, that is, if the international community doesn’t intervene yet again.

If interested in reading more about the international community’s interference in the ICC investigation of Sept. 28, please go to:  Preventive Diplomacy:  The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea

Gambia’s Bensouda slated to be ICC prosecutor: envoy

Thu Dec 1, 2011 5:47am GMT

By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Fatou Bensouda of Gambia has emerged as the consensus candidate for the high-profile job of chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a diplomat at the center of the selection process said on Wednesday.

Bensouda, 50, is deputy to the current chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, whose term ends next year.

An informal meeting of ICC members will be held in New York on Thursday to discuss the appointment, said Liechtenstein’s U.N. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, president of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute that set up the court.

“I will recommend to the meeting that, based on my consultations, we go forward with a single candidate, Fatou Bensouda,” Wenaweser told Reuters by telephone.

The appointment will be made at a formal session of the 118-nation ASP in New York on December 12, Wenaweser said.

Bensouda was named deputy prosecutor of the Hague-based ICC in 2004 and previously worked as a legal adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.

She has long been regarded as the favorite to take over from Moreno-Ocampo, particularly at a time when the ICC’s cases are largely focused on Africa.

She was one of four candidates short-listed by a search committee last month to replace Moreno-Ocampo as chief prosecutor of the world’s top war crimes court.

AFRICAN SOUGHT

The others were Britain’s Andrew Cayley, international co-prosecutor in the U.N.-backed court trying former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia, Mohamed Chande Othman, Chief Justice of Tanzania, and Robert Petit, a war crimes counsel in Canada’s Department of Justice.

Wenaweser told an ASP working group last week there was a “pervasive sentiment” among ICC members that the next chief prosecutor should be an African and that Cayley and Petit had been told they were no longer being considered.

A U.N. diplomat who asked not to be identified said he understood Othman had subsequently withdrawn his candidacy.

The tough-talking Moreno-Ocampo has won praise for his role in promoting the work of the ICC. He has launched seven formal investigations, issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir and begun three trials.

The ICC earlier this year indicted then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi — since killed — as well as his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi. Moreno-Ocampo said last week, however, that he would not demand that the captured Saif al-Islam be handed over to The Hague.

In the latest development involving the ICC, former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo was flown on Tuesday night to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity.

Some African politicians have accused Moreno-Ocampo of pursuing only Africans. He has also been criticized over the ICC’s slow progress and for failing to bring a larger number of senior government officials to trial for various atrocities.