Entries in Gambia (5)
(HN, October 25, 2011) - Two candidates from the African continent are among four shortlisted to head the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.
The pair come from Tanzania and Gambia, and, along with a Briton and Canadian, have been shortlisted to replace the tough-talking ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, whose term ends next year.
They are: Mohamed Chande Othman, Tanzania’s Chief Justice and Fatou Bensouda of Gambia - currently the ICC's deputy prosecutor.
Also in he running are Andrew Cayley, a British national and the International Co-Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. Rounding out the list is Robert Petit, a war crimes counsel in Canada's Department of Justice.
The four were short listed by the selection committee of the Assembly of States Parties, which oversees the court. The committee, which had been set up by the Assembly at its ninth session in December 2010, was composed of five members representing each of the regional groups,
The process comes at a time when an increasing number of the ICC's files originate from Africa - including Kenya, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.
Bensouda was appointed the ICC's deputy prosecutor in September 2004 and previously worked as a legal adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, reported The Standard Newspaper of Kenya.
"She has long been regarded as the favourite to take over from Moreno-Ocampo, particularly at a time when the ICC's cases are largely focused on Africa," the paper said.
Othman was appointed Tanzania's chief justice in December 2010, after being elevated by President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete from judge in the High court of Tanzania and the court of appeal for seven years. He is a reputed human rights expert.
Canada's Petit also has impressive international credentials. From 2006 to 2009, he was the International Co-Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which is aiming to try Khmer Rouge leaders for violations of international criminal law in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. He has also served as a Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Regional Legal Advisor for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, a Prosecutor for the Serious Crimes Unit of the United Nations Mission of Support to East Timor, and a Senior Trial Attorney for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
- HUMNEWS staff, agencies
REGION – Africa and Middle East
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC