ICJ Media Review: Charles Taylors ex-wife faces trial in London for torture allegations in Liberia
ICTY and MICT Prosecutor Brammertz addresses the UN Security Council
On 7 June, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) addressed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), providing an update on ongoing cases and growing challenges facing the Tribunal. The Prosecutor first reported on the trial judgment in the Mladić case, and the appeal judgement for the Prlić et al. case, which are both expected by the end of November 2017, and on the commencement of the Stanišić and Simatović next week. Following an update on the status of other proceedings before the MICT, Brammertz underscored the ongoing commitment of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to locate and arrest the remaining eight fugitives indicted by the ICTR.
He then concluded stressing the OTP’s ongoing efforts to support national prosecutions of war crimes in Rwanda and countries of the former Yugoslavia, underlining the growing revisionism and denial of crimes and calling for urgent attention to the challenge that they pose. “When irresponsible officials use division, discrimination and hate to secure power, conflict and atrocities can gain a logic of their own. That was true two decades ago when the genocide and ethnic cleansing began, and it remains true today. With the closure of the ICTR, and the upcoming closure of the ICTY, it is now more important than ever to address this challenge. To secure a peaceful future, there must be a shared agreement on the recent past,” said Brammertz to the UNSC. (ICTY Press Release)
President Agius addresses the UN Security Council on ICTY completion strategy
On 7 June, ICTY President Carmel Agius addressed the UNSC, providing his penultimate progress report on the Tribunal’s completion strategy in view of its closure set for 31 December 2017. The President stressed that the ICTY remains on track to complete its mandate by the end of the year and that the remaining judgments are expected to be delivered by the end of November 2017. President Agius also took the opportunity to underscore some significant challenges facing the ICTY requiring the attention of the UNSC. These include Serbia’s non-compliance in the pending contempt case of Jojić et al., in which the Serbian government continues to refuse to execute arrest warrants for the accused, and the continued ICTY staff attrition.
President Agius concluded by addressing the importance of establishing a legacy for Tribunal and to ensure its work will continue to have an impact in the future. “No institution can restore what was lost in the Yugoslav wars, or undo the terrible crimes committed during them. The Tribunal has demonstrated, however, that when the international community has the will to co-operate and to stand for what is right, those responsible for the most egregious violations of international humanitarian law can be held to account,” said President Agius. (ICTY Press Release)
ECCC makes order on deadline extension for closing briefs in case against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan
The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has granted a week extension for the filing of closing briefs in the Case 002/02 against KHIEU Samphan and NUON Chea. The deadline extension, requested by the parties, was granted in view of the ongoing correction and finalisation of numerous hearing transcripts by the ECCC Transcription Unit. The closing briefs are now due on 2 May 2017 and closing arguments, previously scheduled for 5 June, have been rescheduled to begin on 13 June 2017. (ECCC Press Release)
Ex-wife of Charles Taylor arrested in London for torture allegations in Liberia
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s ex-wife, Agnes Reeves, was charged with torture in UK domestic Court. She was arrested on 1 June 2017 in London by the Metropolitan Police’s war crimes unit and faces four allegations in relation to events that took place during the Liberian civil war from December 1989 until 1991. Agnes Reeves was remanded in custody and is meant to appear at the Old Bailey on 30 June 2017. Charles Taylor, President from 1997 to 2003, was convinced for crimes against humanity and war crimes before the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2011. He is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in the UK. (DW, Express, Front Page Africa Online)
Photos: Agnes Reeves, ICTY/Flickr and http://www.un.org/