ICJ Media Review: Status conference on ICC jurisdiction over Rohingya crimes set for June 20th

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Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 11:25

By ICL Media Review

In this week's review, news about the Prosecutor request on jurisdiction on Rohingya crimes, the beginning of the Lebanon tribunal defence case, trial modalities in the Stanisic and Simatovic retrial, Bensouda on Gaza killings and more

ICC Pre-Trial Chamber schedules status conference on Prosecutor’s request for ruling on jurisdiction concerning Rohingya crimes

On 11 May, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I issued orders scheduling a status conference on 20 June 2018 to be held in closed session, only in the presence of the Prosecutor. The purpose of the hearing is to adjudicate the Prosecutor’s request pursuant to Article 19(3) of the Rome Statute for a ruling on whether the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Prosecutor was ordered to address the issues annexed confidentially to the orders, in addition to any other issues the Prosecutor may deem appropriate. (OrdersRequest for ruling)

Lebanon tribunal orders Oneissi defence to file summary of expected witness testimony as Defence case in Ayyash et al. case begins

In the main case before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al., the Trial Chamber ordered the Defence for Hussein Hassan Oneissi to file a summary of the facts to which Defence witness Jamil El-Sayyed will testify, by no later than 28 May. Mr El-Sayyed is expected to testify on political events that took place in Lebanon prior to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. However, so far the Defence has only provided a summary of topics rather than the specific facts to which he will testify. According to the Trial Chamber, this information is vital in order to enable the Parties and the judges to prepare for Mr. El-Sayyed’s testimony, and is consistent with the practice at other international tribunals. After the STL Prosecution officially closed its case on 7 February 2018, and after the Trial Chamber dismissed the Oneissi Rule165 request for acquittal on 7 March 2018, the Defence for Hussein Hassan Oneissi opened its Defence case as provided under Rule 128.

On 14 May 2018, the Oneissi Defence presented its first witness, an expert in eyewitness identification and retired professor of psychology, Siegfried Ludwig Sporer. Professor Sporer testified on the psychological aspects of eyewitness identification as well as best practices employed by investigators during the course of eyewitness identification and issues related to this. At the same time, the STL Trial Chamber allowed the Oneissi Defence in an oral decision to amend its witness list by adding four witnesses, DHO-003, DHO-004, DHO-005 and Mr Xavier Laroche (DHO-006) and to add related documents in lieu of their oral testimony, as permitted under the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The Oneissi Defence is the sole STL Defence team which will present its case. Mr Oneissi, together with three other Accused, remains at large. They are being tried in absentia in relation to their alleged role in the 14 February 2005 assassination of the former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri. Mr Oneissi is accused of having participated in a conspiracy with others to commit a terrorist act through his alleged role in the recruitment of a suitable individual and the subsequent delivery of the false claim of responsibility. (STL TC Order, STL Press Release)

MICT releases public version of decision on trial modalities in Stanisic and Simatovic retrial

In the Stanisic and Simatovic retrial at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the Trial Chamber on 16 May issued a public redacted version of its decision on trial modalities. The decision was previously issued confidentially on 6 March. In its decision, the Trial Chamber dismissed the Prosecution’s motion to vary the trial modalities to increase the number of hearings per week and daily sitting time, on the grounds that Jovica Stanisic’s medical conditions no longer require it. The Trial Chamber noted the accused’s right to be physically present in the courtroom and determined that, based on information from the UNDU Medical Service, Simatovic would experience difficulties following an increased trial schedule. The Simatovic Defence had objected to the motion and agreed for Simatovic to be examined by an independent medical expert; the Trial Chamber noted that if independent medical experts were required, it would take several months before such expert evidence would be available. (MICT TC Decision)

ICC Prosecutor on killing of Palestinians in Gaza

Following the reported killing of at least 60 Palestinian civilians during protests in Gaza, which occurred in response to the move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday 14 May 2018, the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda condemned the reported killings and urged cessation of violence. In her statement to the AFP press agency, she stressed that the ICC Office of the Prosecutor would watch the situation on the ground closely, keep records of the acts, and if any of the alleged crimes fell under the Rome Statute, take any actions necessary. Palestine joined the ICC on 1 January 2015. It has accepted ICC jurisdiction over alleged crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, since 13 June 2014. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor opened preliminary investigations into the situation in Palestine on 16 January 2015, in keeping with Article 53(1) of the Rome Statute. (The Daily Stari24 News)

Liberian government says establishing war crimes court is not at the top of the list

On 8 May, a petition for the establishment of war and economic crimes court was submitted to the Liberian Parliament. On 11 May 2018, the Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs was reported as saying that, while the government would consider the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation that an extraordinary criminal tribunal be established, it was not a top priority. (All Africa)

UN Security Council urges Myanmar to investigate crimes after rights groups appeal for ICC referral

On 9 May, the United Nations Security Council appealed to the government of Myanmar to conduct investigations into accusations of violence carried out against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The UNSC also asked for aid access to the region. The 15-member Security Council agreed to the British-drafted statement, despite initial pushback from China. UNSC urged the government of Myanmar to formulate agreements with the UNHRC and the UN Development Programme on aid access to those in Rakhine, alongside refugees in Bangladesh.  The Security Council stated that they ‘were struck by the scale of the humanitarian crisis [in Rakhine State]’. However, they also noted the steps Myanmar has made toward the repatriation of refugees currently in Bangladesh.  Earlier in the week, four rights groups, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and Fortify rights, claimed that the government of Myanmar lack the ability to bring those responsible for alleged crimes to justice. Mathew Smith, Head of Fortify Rights stated that the ICC should investigate the ‘mounting evidence’ of genocide against the Rohingya, and that the scale of the atrocities implicated people at the top of Myanmar’s armed forces. Savita Pawnday, deputy executive director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, stated Security Council members should draft a resolution to refer the matter to the ICC, regardless of any threat of veto. Additionally, the Prosecutor of the ICC has asked the Court to rule on whether it has jurisdiction over possible crimes against humanity perpetrated during the crisis, that include crimes against the 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh. (ReutersWashington PostWashington PostAP News)

Photos: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. By Sourov Das https://www.flickr.com/photos/141159174@N07/39627258455/

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AnonymousMonday, May 21, 2018 - 11:48
Anonymous
David D Y Choi

Under the Sky, One should be equal as long as Human Being. Underprivileged social class, Before the birth, even after the death, this underprivileged group should follow the pre-framed given route. Upon realizing that crossing the given route is limited, its trial object would be named as ‘Betrayer’ or targeted as ‘Gov. Sanction’. Extending of this status, urged and resulted let David create hand written images between # 1 and # 58. Still, there, no one, no response, no way to get out, its condition is extended. Its usefulness, it condition should be extended as usual. David D Y Choi , May 2018 ( e-mail ; duly@gmx.com, or cdyera@yandex.com ) Personal URL : http://www.cdyera.wordpress.com ( at URL, on the bottom site, linked images are available )

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 04:34
Anonymous