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ICC Prosecutor Addresses UNSC on Libya Investigation: Latest Statements and Documents
04 May 2011
Dear All,

On 4 May 2011, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo addressed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on progress made in his investigation into recent violence in Libya. The prosecutor announced that in the next weeks his office will submit its first application for arrest warrants against three individuals regarding the situation in Libya.

Please find below the latest ICC-OTP documents (I) and related Coalition media statements (II).

Please take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.

With regards,

CICC Secretariat
www.coalitionfortheicc.org

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I. ICC-OTP STATEMENTS AND REPORT

Note: These documents have been produced by the ICC. The CICC Secretariat distributes them as part of its mandate to keep member organizations and individuals informed about developments related to the ICC. The documents do not reflect the views of the CICC as a whole or its individual members.

1. "The Office of the Prosecutor will request an arrest warrant against three individuals in the first Libya case. Judges will decide," ICC-OTP Press release, 4 May 2011, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/DCBD3E2C-C592-4FB8-B7CB-E18E67F692D1.htm

"Today, (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo informed the United Nations Security Council that in a few weeks he will request the judges of the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants against three individuals for crimes against humanity committed in Libya since 15 February 2011. In accordance with the evidence, they are the most responsible of the crimes committed. The judges can reject the request, accept it or ask for more evidence.

The situation in Libya was unanimously referred to the Prosecutor of the ICC by the United Nations Security Council under Resolution 1970 adopted on 26 of February 2011.

According to the evidence collected so far, "Crimes against humanity have been and continue to be committed in Libya, attacking unarmed civilians including killings and persecutions in many cities across Libya" said the Prosecutor.

Resolution 1970 affirmed that peace and security and the protection of civilians in Libya required justice. "Justice is on course today; however, if those who order the crimes are not stopped and arrested murder, persecution, systematic arrests, torture, killings, enforced disappearances and attacks against unarmed civilians will continue unabated" said the Prosecutor.

Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo called on States to prepare for arrests should judges decide to issue arrest warrants. "Now is the time to start planning on how to implement possible arrest warrants" said the Prosecutor.

In addition, the Office of the Prosecutor will continue investigations on different forms of persecution against civilians in Tripoli and other areas, as well as commissions of rape and the unlawful arrest, mistreatment and killings of sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries.

The Office will also investigate the alleged commission of war crimes in Libya since the end of February, including the use of imprecise weaponry such as cluster munitions, multiple rocket launchers and mortars, and other forms of heavy weaponry, in crowded urban areas.

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 six situations: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, the Central African Republic, Kenya and Libya. ..."

2. "First Report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to the UN Security Council pursuant to UNSCR 1970 (2011)", 4 May 2011, http://212.159.242.181/NR/rdonlyres/A077E5F8-29B6-4A78-9EAB-A179A105738E/0/UNSCLibyaReportEng04052011.pdf

3. "Statement to the United Nations Security Council on the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, pursuant to UNSCR 1970 (2011)", Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, New York, 4 May 2011, http://212.159.242.181/NR/rdonlyres/0BDF4953-B5AB-42E0-AB21-25238F2C2323/0/OTPStatement04052011.pdf

II. RELATED MEDIA STATEMENTS

1. "ICC Prosecutor Addresses UN Security Council on Libya Investigation: Prosecutor to Apply for ICC Arrest Warrants in Coming Weeks; Coalition Urges Cooperation with ICC in Holding Perpetrators Accountable," CICC Media Advisory, 4 May 2011, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/CICCMA_Libya_UNSC_OTPPresentation_4May2011_FINAL.pdf

"WHAT: On 4 May 2011, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo addressed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on progress made in his investigation into recent violence in Libya. The prosecutor announced that in the next weeks his office will submit its first application for arrest warrants against three individuals regarding the situation in Libya.

HOW: The prosecutor stated that he would soon present arrest warrants to judges of ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I, which will focus on those who bear the most responsibility for crimes against humanity allegedly committed on the territory of Libya since 15 February 2011. He also indicated that further cases may be opened in relation to other crimes committed as part of the ongoing hostilities in Libya.

The prosecutor reported on the overall progress made in his investigation. He stated that in the interest of expediency his investigation was focused on a limited number of incidents, selected according to gravity, on those who bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes committed in Libya. He also reported on the number of missions conducted by his office, the type of evidence collected, the nature of incidents and the types of alleged crimes.

WHY: On 3 March 2011, the prosecutor decided to open a formal investigation into the violence following UNSC Resolution 1970 (2011) which referred the situation in Libya to the ICC. Libya is the sixth situation under investigation by the ICC - the world's first and only permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

NEXT STEPS: The prosecutor will present his case to the judges of ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I, who will decide whether or not to issue arrest warrants based on the evidence provided. Additionally, further cases may be opened in relation to other crimes committed as part of the ongoing hostilities in Libya. The prosecutor will also address the UNSC in six months on further progress made in the investigation.

COMMENT: "The Coalition supports the ICC efforts to bring the perpetrators of the most serious crimes in Libya to justice. The decisive action of the international community expressed in what is described as a landmark decision by the UN Security Council in Res. 1970 and the unanimous referral of the situation in Libya to the ICC, sends out a clear message to others in Libya and in the region that may be engaged in similar activity that impunity will not be tolerated," said William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition. "We urge the ICC pre-trial chamber to act as expeditiously as possible in determining the case for issuing arrest warrants for those charged, as well as calling on all states and international and regional organizations to assist the Court with its ongoing investigations," he added. "It is imperative for the UNSC to follow through in assisting the ICC in implementing its referral."

BACKGROUND: In its unanimously adopted resolution 1970 (2011), the UNSC considered that the widespread and systematic attacks taking place in Libya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity and decided to refer the situation in Libya to the ICC Prosecutor to investigate crimes committed from 15 February 2011. The ICC Prosecutor can only investigate situations in non-state parties, such as Libya, where the Security Council refers the situation to the Prosecutor in accordance with Article 15(b) of the Rome Statute or where a non-state party has submitted a declaration to the Registrar of the ICC accepting the jurisdiction of the Court in its territory pursuant to Article 12(3) of the Statute. The referral by the Council, however, did not automatically trigger an ICC investigation as the Court operates independently of the UN. Rather, it was up to the prosecutor to determine whether the criteria in the Rome Statute for opening an investigation had been met. The decision to open an investigation was made on 3 March.

The ICC is the world's first, permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. There are currently 114 ICC States Parties. Central to the Court's mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Uganda, Kenya and Libya. The ICC has publicly issued 15 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing. The Office of the Prosecutor has made public that it is examining at least nine situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine.

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, visit: www.coalitionfortheicc.org.

Members of the Coalition are available for background information and comments. Experts list available upon request to: [email protected]<mailto:[email protected];coalitionfortheicc.org> ..."

2. "UN Security Council: Support ICC Probe on Libya: Prosecutor to Brief Council on Libya, Human Rights Watch, Press release, 3 May 2011, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/05/03/un-security-council-support-icc-probe-libya

"The United Nations Security Council should declare its support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into serious crimes committed in Libya when the ICC prosecutor briefs the council on May 4, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. When the Security Council referred Libya to the ICC, it invited the court's prosecutor to address its members within two months.

"After setting the wheels of justice in motion, the council should back the court in ensuring accountability for any grave abuses in Libya," said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. "The Security Council must stand by the strong action it took in February and reaffirm the court's role in the fight against impunity."

On February 26, the Security Council adopted resolution 1970 by a vote of 15-0 referring Libya to the ICC. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty, the Security Council can refer a situation in any country to the ICC prosecutor if it determines the situation to be a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. As a judicial institution, the court's work is distinct from other initiatives currently underway in Libya. The ICC's independence from political pressures is essential to its overall effectiveness and credibility, Human Rights Watch said.

Following the council's referral, the ICC prosecutor announced on March 3 that he would open an investigation into potential crimes against humanity committed in Libya since February 15. The prosecutor has indicated that the focus of his investigation will be the 15-day period following the adoption of resolution 1970, and that he may open a second investigation at a later date. The briefing to the council is expected to provide an overview of the investigative activities of the prosecutor's office to date.

The prosecutor's briefing takes place amidst an increase in diplomatic and military activity around Libya. Recently, several members of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's immediate family were allegedly killed by a NATO air strike in Tripoli. There have also been media accounts that some governments had been seeking an exit strategy for Gaddafi that would offer him a safe haven abroad, possibly shielding him from prosecution.

However, Human Rights Watch research demonstrates that justice should not be abandoned as other objectives are pursued.

"As news of potential serious crimes in Libya continues to emerge, any talk of political settlement needs to take the ICC's unique judicial role into account," said Dicker. "Justice cannot be turned on and off depending on the needs of the moment. The Security Council's unanimous referral of Libya to the ICC sent a clear message that impunity is no longer an option."

The ICC lacks the ability to execute its own requests. Instead, the court must rely on state cooperation to further its investigations, including by facilitating evidence collection and preservation. States parties to the ICC also have a legal obligation to cooperate with the court in assisting with the execution of arrest warrants."

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CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:

The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands