ICTR convict dies, ICC President addresses UNGA and Ntaganda decision on Rule 68 testimony

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ICC President addresses UNGA on 2016 record and State participation: Delivering her annual report to the United National General Assembly on 31st October, ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi insisted that State participation in the ICC must be maintained and grown, and reminded the General Assembly that the ICC had completed an unprecedented amount of activity in 2015-2016, including three judgements issues and two trials begun and completed from start to finish. A further two trials are currently underway at the Court, reparations are being determined in four additional cases, a new trial is set to begin, and ten situations are under active investigation. In light of the recent State withdrawals from the ICC, President Fernández also took the opportunity to emphasise the need for States to demonstrate their commitment to combating impunity, and reminded the General Assembly that “the Court was not created to replace or compete with States. On the contrary, States have the duty and indeed the right to investigate and prosecute these crimes themselves in the first place. The role of the Court it to provide justice only when States fail to do so.” Finally, President Fernández highlighted the achievements of the ICC to date: “Crucially, the creation of the ICC has given a voice to victims, who have the possibility to participate in the Court’s proceedings and to request reparations. The Trust Fund for Victims associated with the Court has already assisted more than 300.000 victims with physical and psychological rehabilitation as well as material support.” (ICC Press Release)

ICTR convict, Kayishema, dies in detention: Former Interhamwe militia member and ICTR-convicted génocidaire, Clément Kayisheme, has died while serving his life sentence in a Mali prison. Kayishema was convicted by the ICTR on several counts of genocide for his involvement in the mass murder of Tutsi individuals during the Rwandan genocide. (Rwanda Eye)

Ntaganda TC decides on admission on Rule 68 prior recorded testimony: In the case of The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda regarding the situation in the DRC, the ICC’s Trial Chamber VI has issued a preliminary ruling on the Prosecution’s application to admit certain witness evidence. The decision relates to the Prosecution’s request – under Rule 68(3) of the Rules for Admission of Prior Recorded Testimony of Witness – that the Chamber admit prior recorded testimony of a witness in the Ntaganda case, as well as a single paragraph from a previous statement made by the Witness in 2005 and three photographs referenced therein. Regarding the prior recorded testimony, the Chamber decided that – on the basis that the evidence may significantly enhance the expediency of proceedings and that the Defence does not oppose the admission – the application of Rule 68(3) would in principle be appropriate in this instance, subject to the requirement that the Witness agrees to the introduction of this evidence and attests to its accuracy. Regarding the single paragraph and three associated photographs however, the Chamber decided not to allow their admission under Rule 68(3), on the basis that the paragraph addresses a self-contained issue which would be more appropriately elicited directly from the Witness in court. Regarding next steps, the preliminary ruling grants the Prosecution one hour in court to conduct the witness formalities required for the Rule 68(3) admission of the prior recorded testimony. (ICC TC decision)

News Courtesy: ICL media review | News Uploader: Sharmin Jannat Bhutto

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