ICC Prosecutor Visits Colombia.
The Hague, 21 August 2008
From 25 to 27 August, the ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, will conduct an official visit to Bogota at the invitation of the Government of Colombia and the country’s Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor paid an earlier visit to Colombia in October 2007.
Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo will participate in the opening session of the seminar “Reflections on Judicial Investigations in Colombia from an International Perspective” organised for prosecutors and judges. He will also meet with senior officials from the Government, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court of Justice as well as representatives of Colombian civil society in the context of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s ongoing analysis of the situation in Colombia. During his stay in the country, he will also pay tribute to the victims and accompany the Public Prosecutor’s Office on an exhumation in UrabÃ¡.
In accordance with the Rome Statute, Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo and his team will continue the ongoing examination of the investigations and proceedings in Colombia, focusing particularly on the people who may be considered among those most responsible for crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
As stated by the Prosecutor during his last visit:
“With the International Criminal Court, there is a new law under which impunity is no longer an option. Either the national courts must do it or we will.”
The Prosecutor will seek further information on the investigations and proceedings being conducted in Columbia against soldiers and politicians â€“ members of Congress among them â€“ allegedly involved in crimes committed by paramilitaries and guerillas. In this context, he will seek further information on the extradition of 15 former paramilitaries being tried under the Justice and Peace Law to the United States of America in May 2008.
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor is also looking into allegations on the existence of international support networks assisting armed groups committing crimes within Colombia that potentially fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. Letters requesting information have been sent to Colombia’s neighbours, to other States and to international and regional organisations.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating in four situations: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, and the Central African Republic, all of which are still engulfed in various degrees of conflict with victims in urgent need of protection.
International Criminal Court monitoring events in Georgia, Prosecutor says Luis Moreno-Ocampo International Criminal Court Prosecutor.
20 August 2008 â€“ The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court confirmed today that his Office is analysing information related to alleged crimes committed in Georgia in recent weeks that fall under the Court’s jurisdiction. Heavy fighting began earlier this month in South Ossetia between Georgian and South Ossetian forces, with Russian forces becoming involved there and in the separate region of Abkhazia and other parts of Georgia in the following days. The violence has uprooted almost 160,000 people in recent weeks.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said today that his Office is analying information alleging attacks on civilians in Georgia, which is a State Party to the Rome Statute that established the Court.
“My Office considers carefully all information relating to alleged crimes within its jurisdiction â€“ war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide â€“ committed on the territory of States Parties or by nationals of States Parties, regardless of the individuals or groups alleged to have committed the crimes,” he said.
The Office has been closely monitoring all information on the situation in Georgia since the outbreak of violence, including information from public sources, according to a news release from the ICC.
In addition, both the Georgian and Russian Governments have offered information to the Court on the situation. “The Office will proceed to seek further information from all actors concerned,” the news release added.
Other situations under analysis by the Office of the Prosecutor include Colombia, Afghanistan, Chad, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire.
The Office is currently conducting investigations in four situations â€“ the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
The ICC is the first independent, permanent court to investigate and prosecute persons accused of the most serious crimes, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so.