Home Tags Posts tagged with "international criminal court"
international criminal court
Mauritania has handed Muammar Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi over to the Libyan authorities, state media say.
Libya wants to try Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes allegedly committed during his time as Colonel Gaddafi’s right-hand man. He is also wanted by France and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Mauritania previously said Abdullah al-Senussi must first face charges of illegal entry.
He fled Libya after last year’s uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
Abdullah al-Senussi was arrested on arrival in Mauritania, sparking repeated requests from the Libyan government for his return.
Libya wants to try Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes allegedly committed during his time as Colonel Gaddafi's right-hand man
The report of his extradition was carried by state TV and the state news agency in Mauritania. There has so far been no confirmation from the Libyan authorities.
“He was extradited to Libya on the basis of guarantees given by Libyan authorities,” a Mauritanian government source told Reuters news agency, without giving details.
According to the reports, Abdullah al-Senussi was delivered to an official Libyan delegation headed by the minister of justice.
If confirmed, Abdullah al-Senussi’s extradition to Libya will be a blow for the ICC.
Not only has the court been trying to win custody of Abdullah al-Senussi, he says, it is also arguing that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’ son Seif al-Islam should also be brought to justice at the court.
It is not known if he is still in the country although one official quoted by AP news agency said the former spy-chief left Mauritania on Wednesday on a Libya-bound flight.
A witness at the airport was quoted as saying Abdullah al-Senussi was not handcuffed and seemed in good spirits as he boarded the plane.
In March, Abdullah al-Senussi was arrested at Nouakchott airport in Mauritania after flying in from Morocco. He was disguised as a Tuareg chieftain and was carrying a fake passport.
He was later charged with illegally entering the country and using forged documents, and transferred to the civilian prison in Nouakchott. However, it is believed he has spent most of his time in Mauritania under house arrest at a private villa.
In June 2011, the ICC issued a warrant for Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity alleged to have been carried out in Benghazi, the main base of the Libyan opposition during the revolt last year.
France has already sentenced Abdullah al-Senussi to life imprisonment for the shooting down of a UTA airliner over Niger in 1989 in which 170 people were killed.
He has been accused of various human rights abuses including his alleged role in the 1996 massacre of more than 1,000 inmates at the Abu Salim prison in Tripoli.
Abdullah al-Senussi is alleged to have ordered guards standing on grated ceilings above the inmates to fire down on them, after riots broke out over demands for better food and conditions.
He is also believed to have information about Libyans kidnapped and assassinated abroad during Gaddafi’s rule, and the financing of terrorist organizations, especially in Africa.
Investigators in the US and UK also believe he may have further knowledge about the 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland in which 270 people died.
Earlier this year, US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who led a delegation to the region, said Washington had a “particular interest” in seeing Abdullah al-Senussi arrested “because of his role with the Lockerbie bombing”.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said that Tony Blair and George W. Bush should be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague over the Iraq war.
Writing in the UK’s Observer newspaper, Desmond Tutu accused the former leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction.
The Iraq military campaign had made the world more unstable “than any other conflict in history”, he said.
Tony Blair responded by saying “this is the same argument we have had many times with nothing new to say”.
Earlier this week, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a veteran peace campaigner who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 in recognition of his campaign against apartheid, pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because he refused to share a platform with Tony Blair.
The former Archbishop of Cape Town said the US- and UK-led action launched against Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 had brought about conditions for the civil war in Syria and a possible Middle East conflict involving Iran.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said that Tony Blair and George W. Bush should be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague over the Iraq war
“The then leaders of the United States [George Bush] and Great Britain [Tony Blair] fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the specter of Syria and Iran before us,” he said.
He added: “The question is not whether Saddam Hussein was good or bad or how many of his people he massacred. The point is that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair should not have allowed themselves to stoop to his immoral level.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said the death toll as a result of military action in Iraq since 2003 was grounds for Tony Blair and George Bush to be tried in The Hague.
But he said different standards appeared to be applied to Western leaders.
He said: “On these grounds, alone, in a consistent world, those responsible should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague.”
In response to Sunday’s article, Tony Blair issued a strongly worded defence of his decisions.
Tony Blair said: “To repeat the old canard that we lied about the intelligence [on weapons of mass destruction] is completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown.
“And to say that the fact that Saddam massacred hundreds of thousands of his citizens is irrelevant to the morality of removing him is bizarre.
“We have just had the memorials both of the Halabja massacre, where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam’s use of chemical weapons, and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million, including many killed by chemical weapons.
“In addition, his slaughter of his political opponents, the treatment of the Marsh Arabs and the systematic torture of his people make the case for removing him morally strong. But the basis of action was as stated at the time.”
He added: “In short this is the same argument we have had many times with nothing new to say. But surely in a healthy democracy people can agree to disagree.
“I would also point out that despite the problems, Iraq today has an economy three times or more in size, with child mortality rate cut by a third of what it was. And with investment hugely increased in places like Basra.”
Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga has been sentenced by International Criminal Court (ICC) to 14 years in jail for recruiting and using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003.
Thomas Lubanga was convicted by the ICC in March – the first conviction since the court was set up 10 years ago.
He had protested his innocence and said he had not supported the use of child soldiers.
But in a unanimous decision, the judges said Thomas Lubanga was responsible.
Thomas Lubanga showed no emotion as the presiding judge read out the sentence.
Thomas Lubanga has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for recruiting and using child soldiers in his rebel army
Judge Adrian Fulford told the court in The Hague that, taking into account the time Thomas Lubanga has already spent in jail, he will effectively spend eight more years behind bars.
Campaign group Human Rights Watch says more than 60,000 people were killed in the conflict between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups in Ituri, in north-eastern DR Congo.
In June, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he was asking for a “severe sentence” of 30 years.
He said the prosecution was requesting a sentence “in the name of each child recruited, in the name of the Ituri region”.
The conviction of Thomas Lubanga is linked to current unrest in DR Congo.
Rebel forces are advancing towards the country’s main eastern city of Goma.
They are headed by General Bosco Ntaganda, who is also wanted for war crimes by the ICC.
• Leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), an ethnic Hema militia
• Head of the UPC’s military wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC)
• Accused of recruiting children under 15 as soldiers
• Arrested in Kinshasa in March 2005
• Held by the ICC at The Hague since 2006
• Born in 1960, has a degree in psychology
Libya has formally requested the handover of Abdullah al-Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi’s former spy chief, following his arrest in Mauritania.
A spokesman for the new government in Tripoli “insisted” Abdullah al-Senussi be extradited to Libya to face trial.
However, Abdullah al-Senussi is also sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity.
France also wants to extradite Abdullah al-Senussi in connection with a bomb attack on a plane in 1989.
Mauritania has already said it wants to carry out its own investigation before considering any extradition requests.
Abdullah al-Senussi was held at the airport in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, after flying in from Morocco using a false passport, officials said.
However, Mauritania has not yet provided any evidence of his arrest.
It is believed he is being held at the offices of the Mauritanian intelligence agency.
Libya has formally requested the handover of Abdullah al-Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi's former spy chief, following his arrest in Mauritania
Abdullah al-Senussi, 63, fled Libya last year as Muammar Gaddafi’s regime began to crumble.
“We insist that Senussi is extradited to Libya,” said Mohammed al-Harizy, spokesman for Libya’s National Transitional Council.
“There are demands from the ICC and France to get Senussi, but the priority is to deliver Senussi to Libya.”
The arrest provoked strong feelings on the streets of Tripoli on Saturday.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both said that Mauritania was bound by the UN Security Council to co-operate with the ICC, even though it has not signed up to its statute.
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s deputy director for North Africa, said in a statement that the Libyan justice system remained “weak and unable to conduct effective investigations into alleged crimes”.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Abdullah al-Senussi last June, saying he was an “indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds” committed in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Abdullah al-Senussi could also be held to account for the massacre of more than 1,000 detainees at a Libyan prison in 1996.
A French court has already convicted the former spy chief in absentia of involvement in a 1989 attack on a French plane that killed 170 people, and sentenced him to life in prison.
Abdullah al-Senussi, nicknamed “the butcher”, was one of the last significant members of the Gaddafi regime still at large.
Thomas Lubanga, the Congolese warlord, has been found guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers between 2002 and 2003 by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It is the court’s first verdict since it was set up 10 years ago.
Thomas Lubanga will be sentenced at a later hearing.
The warlord headed a rebel group during an inter-ethnic conflict in a gold-rich region of Democratic Republic of Congo.
Thomas Lubanga, the Congolese warlord, has been found guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers between 2002 and 2003 by the International Criminal Court
The prosecution accused Thomas Lubanga of using children as young as nine as bodyguards, sex slaves and fighters.
In a unanimous decision, the three judges said evidence proved that as head of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and its armed wing, Thomas Lubanga bore responsibility for the recruitment of child soldiers who had participated actively on the frontline.
Thomas Lubanga, who was arrested in 2005, could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The court cannot impose the death penalty.