Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda is the new International Criminal Court prosecutor.She is to take on the key role at the ICC from mid next year when Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo officially retires from office.

ICC State Parties on Monday agreed by consensus at an annual meeting that brought together 120 countries, to have the lawyer who has more than 20 years prosecution experience, replace Ocampo for a one nine-year term.

Bensouda who has set the record by being the first African and woman to serve as the ICC prosecutor, remained the only one in a race that was contested by 52 candidates.

She remained when no member from the 120 countries nominated a candidate to challenge her by December 9, following Tanzania Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman’s withdrawal of his candidacy after it became clear that African nations were in support of the Gambia’s former Justice Minister.

Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda is the new International Criminal Court prosecutor.

On Monday, UK Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham said Bensouda demonstrated to State Parties that she has the experience and skills required to take forward the ground-breaking work Ocampo has achieved during his tenure.

“I am delighted that the State Parties of the ICC have agreed by consensus that Ms Fatou Bensouda should be appointed the nest prosecutor of the ICC,” Bellingham said in a statement.

He said the UK supported Besouda for the position at the assemblies meeting being held in New York, USA, and her election by consensus is a clear demonstration that, although her role is fully independent, she will have full support of all State Parties when she takes office next July.



If charges against Kenya’s Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, radio presenter Joshua Sang, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali are confirmed, it is the new prosecutor who will continue with the cases from July next year when Ocampo officially leaves office.

Her new role may also see the International Court intensify its search for Rwandan fugitive Felicen Kabuga who Kenyan authorities have since denied to be hiding in the country.

Bensouda handled the case on Kabuga’s indictment where he is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide.

Kabuga who is still wanted by court sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, was accused along with former Defence Minister Augustin Bizimana and Major Protais Mpiranya, ex-commandant of late President JuvÈnal Habyarimana’s Guard.

Other cases she is to continue with at the Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Cote “Ivoire and Central African Republic.

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo was recently arrested and flown to The Hague to answer to charges of crimes against humanity committed following last year’s elections.

Bensouda will continue with preliminary examinations in situations in Afghanistan, Georgia, Guines, Palestine, Colombia, Honduras, Korea and Nigeria.

She was recommended for the post at an informal meeting of member nations by Liechtenstein’s UN Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, who headed the prosecutor’s selection committee.

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Categorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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