Yahya Jammeh Facing ICC is Not Ruled Out

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    International Correspondent in Hague
    “The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague did opened a file on the Gambia for the some of the disturbing violations of rights under the former President Yahya Jammeh but could not make any progress at the time due to lack of sufficient evidences” . Prosecutor Bensouda
    The Gambian born ICC Chief Prosecutor was speaking to a delegation of the select Community of the National Assembly tasked to look at Human Rights and Constitutional Matters led by the Right honourable Speaker madam Mariam Jack Denton at her offices in The Hague last week.
    Prosecutor Bensouda was responding to a question as what can the ICC do about the former President who is now living in Equatorial Guinea, she told the law makers that during the height of Jammeh’s human right violations a file was opened but most of the information were based on assumption and suspicion.
    Bensouda went further to explain that most people do not understand how the ICC operates. “Ours is not one of first instance but last resort” Bensouda.
    Cases are referred to the ICC by member states or in some cases even by none members. UN Security Council also can refer cases to the ICC, such as the Bashir’s case.
    She told the law makers that what happen in Gambia could not be treated as genocide nor could we say it was wide spread or systematic. There was no threshold for the ICC to make a statement neither. “I was frustrated myself” ICC Prosecutor said.
    As whether or not the former President can face the ICC, she said that depends of credible information, which is welcome, it can come from anybody be they individuals or organizations.
    However the Prosecutor said they are following the TRRC with keen interest and are looking forward to their recommendations.
    Earlier the Chief Prosecutor explained to the team that there is a wrong perception by most Africans and that the ICC was a creation of the West to punish Africans. She said the ICC is different from all other International Courts as those were the creation of UN; whiles the ICC was created by member States.
    The ICC she said was the making of the Diplomatic Conference hosted by Senegal and from there the idea was pushed. She said Senegal was the first country to ratify the Rome Statutes.
    The President of the Court; Justice Eboe Osugi a Nigerian by citizenship said a few years ago before the establishment of ICC and other International Courts people think they can do whatever to people and go without accountability. He said that will not happen anymore. ICC President Justice Osugi said when people commit crimes against people they have to face the Courts.
    Speaking on behalf of the Select Committee; Hon Speaker Mariam Jack Denton expressed happiness that the prosecutor is one of us and above all she and her team is happy that she avail us the opportunity to visit the ICC. She hopes that we will re-visit the ICC for other legal matters.
    Earlier the prosecutor expressed gratitude that receiving such a delegation was first of its kind since she took office. And she encourage such visits and also she is available to the Gambian National Assembly for any questions.
    She encourages the Speaker to invite her address the National Assembly as other countries are doing. Once that is doe she and her team will be open to any questions.

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