As long as we’re all waiting with bated breath for this afternoon’s (or this morning’s, if you’re in the U.S.) ICC press conference revealing Pre-Trial I’s decision on the Bashir warrant, I thought I’d do a quick update on what else has been going on in the wonderful world of international criminal law.
- From the Khmer Rouge Tribunal: The Phnom Penh Post reports that the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges (OCIJ) has ordered Ieng Sary’s defense team to take down its website, which the OCIJ alleges contains confidential material. Lawyers for Ieng and other defendants have countered that the Tribunal is needlessly secretive, failing in its obligation to keep the public informed, and that the posted documents weren’t confidential anyway. (Given that the Tribunal’s website has been down the last several times I’ve tried to access it, I feel like there may be some truth to those charges.) In other news from the KRT, last week Ieng Sary’s wife, Ieng Thirith, threw a fit and cursed the Tribunal, and earlier this week Judge Kong Srim announced that there are no funds available to pay local staff salaries this month. So it sounds like things are going well there.
- From the ICTY: Yesterday Radovan Karadžić refused to plead to the prosecution’s once-again amended indictment (third time’s the charm guys!); an automatic not-guilty plea was (again) entered on his behalf. It’s nice that he seems to be settling into a routine, isn’t it? Oh, and former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic was found not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo. The other five high-ranking Serb officials on trial were not so lucky; everyone got prison sentences.
- From the Special Court for Sierra Leone: Trial Chamber I returned a verdict last week in the case of three RUF commanders. Not only were all three found guilty on an impressive array of charges, but “forced marriage of captured women” made its debut as a crime distinct from your run-of-the-mill sexual violence charges. So congratulations to the prosecution for the first (and second and third) ever conviction for forced marriage under international criminal law!
- From the Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Not much to report yet other than yes, we have a new tribunal on the scene in the Hague. (Good thing, too, because the ratio of Dutch people to international lawyers was getting perilously close to 1:1 around here.) Its purpose is to “try all those who are alleged responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 in Beirut that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.”
So that’s the news for now. See you in a few hours…