Posted by Mariana on 23 Oct 2012 | Comments
INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda has promised to uphold transparency and fairness in her pursuit to investigate and prosecute those most responsible for the world’s gravest crimes, where no-one else is doing justice for the victims.
Bensouda who spoke in Kenya said the purpose of the court and her purpose,, “is to seek the truth.”
In the speech made available to The Guardian by her office in The Hague, Netherlands, she said: “By doing so, by bringing justice, we can provide some solace to survivors, restore dignity to shattered lives and the memory of those who were killed. We do this with utter respect. Respect for the primary responsibility of national judicial systems to carry out genuine national proceedings against those alleged to have committed crimes, respect for the rights of the accused and above all, respect for victims, all as mandated in the Rome Statute.”
Bensouda said Kenyan victims, the women, men and children who suffered during the dark days of 2007-2008 are her priority, her daily motivation as they always have been and they always will be.
“I was nominated and supported by the African Union as the sole African candidate for the position of ICC Prosecutor, to which I was unanimously elected by the 121 States Parties on 12 December 2011. I am deeply indebted to the AU and African leaders including President Kibaki, for their confidence in me. Their support is yet another example of Africa’s commitment to international justice and their desire to end impunity.
“For the next nine years, I have the privilege, honour and the responsibility to serve as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Having been nominated and supported for this position by the AU, I consider myself to be a mere extension of the African fabric for ending impunity. In carrying out the mandate given to me by the 121 States Parties, I am guided by the law and the cardinal principles of independence, impartiality and fairness.”
Bensouda continued: “I arrived in Kenya yesterday and plan to be here for the coming week. While here, I plan to meet with key government figures, notably President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga.
“You will recall that on 3 July 2009 my predecessor met with a high level delegation of Kenyan government officials in The Hague. Agreement was reached with the representatives of the Kenyan government that should the Kenyan authorities carry out genuine judicial proceedings against those most responsible for PEV, the Office of the Prosecutor would have no ground to intervene. My predecessor and the Kenyan delegation agreed that impunity was not an option.
“On 5 November 2009, after being informed by the Kenyan authorities of the unfortunate gridlock at the national level, my predecessor met with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Nairobi. He informed them that since all the statutory criteria were fulfilled, and since the Government of Kenya had been unable to reach agreement on the establishment of a local tribunal to deal with PEV crimes, it was his duty to open an investigation into the alleged crimes.
“Accordingly, he requested the cooperation of Kenyan national authorities with the Court. He recalled the complementary roles of the ICC and the Kenyan authorities in combating impunity. The President and Prime Minister issued a joint statement in which they recorded their constructive meeting with the Prosecutor. The Government stated that it remained fully committed to cooperating with the ICC within the framework of the Rome Statute and the Kenyan International Crimes Act.
According to Bensouda, this continues to be the framework of the interaction between the Court and Kenya. She said during her stay in Kenya, she planned to meet with Kenyans, civil society and the diplomatic community, to thank them for the critical support they had provided and would continue to provide for the work of the Office.
Source: The Guardian