IER wages democratic bet
On December 16, Moroccan King Mohammed VI ordered that the Equity and Reconciliation Commission's (IER) final report be made public. The King's dahir (royal decree) establishing the IER has been interpreted in radically different ways since it was issued on January 7, 2004. For some, this commission - the first of its kind in the Arab-Islamic world - was a source of hope for democratization. The many skeptics, on the other hand, saw it as a cunning tool for Morocco's king, designed to reinforce his legitimacy and to project the image of a modern country concerned with human rights. What has IER revealed?
Gotovina: myth and demons
The arrest on December 8 in Spain of Croatian General Ante Gotovina, one of the main suspects wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), sparked a wave of protests all over Croatia. Right wing leader Anto Djapic said that the arrest of Gotovina was a difficult day for Croatia, for all Croatian war veterans and for all those who respect Gotovina as a national hero. However, the Prime Minister and the Arch-Bishop of Makarska, south of Split, called upon citizens to try and understand why this moment was good for their country.
Van Anraat, sole chemical agent
Dutch prosecutors needed eleven hours on 7 December for their closing arguments against Frans van Anraat, the Dutch citizen accused of complicity in genocide on trial before a federal court in The Hague for his sales of chemicals to the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1980's. After a three-week trial, the prosecution requested the maximum prison sentence of 15 years. The prosecutor argued that the 63- year old Dutchman had known that the thousands of tons of thiodiglycol (TDG) he supplied were converted to chemical weapons, which Iraq used to attack Iran and its own Kurdish population.
"A trial should never last more than 18 months total"
Interview with Claude Jorda, judge at the International Criminal Court
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