Fatou Bensouda: ICC crimes monitor

25 May 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt & Richard Walker

While all eyes are on Gaddafi, the International Criminal Court monitors 15 countries around the globe. She is working on 6 ‘situations’ and a dozen cases. But in the meantime, Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda also monitors crimes in West Africa. 

What are you doing in West Africa?

We are mainly in the preliminary stages of our investigations. Following the events in 2009 in Guinea, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo and I made it quite clear to the authorities in Guinea that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have potentially taken place and that we are urging the Guinean authorities to look into them. The first priority in investigating and prosecuting always rests with the state. As a result of all our declarations and visits to Guinea we realise that the Guinean authorities are also doing something towards addressing those crimes.

A panel of judges has been put in place and they have been investigating and interviewing witnesses. I think our concern in Guinea has been made quite public. They have also established a truth commission, which is helpful to the Guineans.

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