ICTY

article
17 March 2008 by Victor Peskin

The long-running diplomatic battle over Kosovo's future has had a contentious parallel in a courtroom battle over Kosovo's bloody past at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). A judgment in the trial of the former Prime Minister of Kosovo and former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Ramush Haradinaj is expected soon in The Hague. It may bring new lessons on the relationship between international tribunals and international organizations that would appear to be their natural allies.

article
Sabiha Husic runs the NGO Medica Zenica, which helps Bosnia's wartime rape survivors
27 January 2015 by Nidzara Ahmetasevic, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Despite growing concern for and openness about wartime rapes in Bosnia, the thousands of women estimated to have been raped during the 1992-1995 conflict there are still largely neglected by the state and society, concludes a leading NGO dealing with victims.

issue
23 January 2006

DRC awaiting first arrest warrants

On January 10, Serge Brammertz, the deputy prosecutor in charge of investigations at the International Criminal Court (ICC), was given a six-month temporary assignment as head of the UN's fact-finding committee on the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister. Since his departure, Congolese NGOs, which had already advised the Court to issue arrest warrants before the December 18 referendum, are concerned that the ICC "legal proceedings will be stalled" in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In a country where individuals suspected of war crimes hold political office, and whose terms may be renewed following the March 5 legislative elections, the question is: why is the ICC waiting to issue its first arrest warrants in the DRC?

IER: truth without punishment

King Mohammed VI of Morocco has reason to be satisfied. Since completing its work a couple of weeks ago, the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) has been flooded with compliments. The United States, France, Great Britain and many other countries have expressed their support for this unprecedented initiative in truth and democratization in the Arab-Islamic world. Never before has a country in this region embarked upon such a critical assessment of its past. But beyond the symbolic nature of the IER report, what exactly does it say?

The steel giant and the memory of Omarska

​In August 1992, Europe discovered the existence of concentration camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Prijedor region, Serb authorities were subjecting non-Serb civilians to inhuman detention conditions, torture and murder at Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje. Those images went around the world and remain one of the symbols of the Bosnian drama. After the conflict Omarska returned to what it used to be: an iron ore mine. But after buying the mine, international steel giant Mittal Steel must now deal with the strong memories.

Brief news:
• ICC: 6 victims to participate in DRC proceedings
• ICTR: The Uwilingiyimana mystery
• Spain accuses Cavallo
• The Netherlands: 15 years for Van Anraat
• Chile: Fujimori stays in prison
• Argentina: Lukic extradited to the ICTY
• Bosnia: a bloody and disorderly arrest

issue
19 February 2007

Liberians will have to wait for the truth

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Liberia has indefinitely postponed the public hearings scheduled for January 31. The Commission, which was established under the 2003 Peace Agreement, is facing serious funding problems, while public expectation to see it begin holding hearings of victims and perpetrators is mounting.

Croatia reluctant to prosecute its politicians

Despite the evidence gathered during investigations, in addition to the evidence handed over by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Croatia's political class is in no hurry to try two of its most notorious politicians charged with war crimes: Branimir Glavas, a member of Parliament and retired general, and Tomislav Mercep, former MP and presidential candidate in 2000, even though this is Croatia's main obstacle to European Union (EU) membership.

International justice - new investment opportunity?

Recent gifts by Microsoft to the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia and a project reintegrating former paramilitaries in Colombia may signal a new era of private sector philanthropy. The burgeoning field of international justice is certainly in need of additional sources of funding, but would corporate contributions come at a hidden cost?

Morocco - From collective pardon to collective amnesia?

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

 

issue
19 March 2007

The impossible math of gacaca justice

Two years after the official March 10, 2005 start date for genocide trials before gacaca (community) courts, nearly 60,000 decisions have been rendered. This impressive figure, however, represents only 7% of those being prosecuted in Rwanda. And yet, the government has announced gacaca trials will finish at the end of 2007.

A new Ovcara trial opens without the victims

The families of 200 people massacred at Ovcara, near Vukovar, in November 1991, were conspicuous by their absence when the trial started over again on March 12 before the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade. The families are demanding that the Croatian government pay their travel expenses, after having refused assistance from the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Center. At the end of the first trial in 2005, 16 defendants were sentenced to a total of 231 years in prison for what was the worst war crime committed on Croatian territory during the war in former Yugoslavia. However, on December 14, 2006, the Supreme Court of Belgrade reversed that judgment and ordered a new trial, provoking indignation from the victims.

Haradinaj, trial in troubled waters

When he first appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on March 9, 2005, Ramush Haradinaj was Prime Minister of Kosovo. A former nightclub bouncer, he became leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the conflict with Serbia in 1998. His subordinate Idriz Balaj was commander of the KLA "Black Eagles", a "rapid intervention special unit". And his uncle, Lahi Brahimaj, was in charge of the KLA's finances. But for the prosecution, the trial of these three men, which started in The Hague on March 5, 2007, is not about a resistance movement breaching the laws of war, but about the cruel abuse of power.

Brief news:

• Burundi: New impasse between United Nations and government

• Cambodia: Progress on the rules of procedure for the Extraordinary Chambers

• Afghanistan: A sanitized amnesty

issue
16 April 2007

No more waiting for Bernard Ntuyahaga

Bernard Ntuyahaga, a former major in the Rwandan army, will be tried starting April 19 before a court of Rwanda's former colonial power. For the Belgian justice system, this third universal jurisdiction trial for crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994 is the result of twelve years of efforts to try one of those it holds responsible for the murder of ten Belgian UN soldiers on April 7, 1994. For the accused, it is above all the end of a long drawn-out legal process.

The trial of an "extremely important event"

An expert on the three days following the April 6, 1994 attack on the plane of President Juvénal Habyarimana in Kigali, Filip Reyntjens has already testified before the Tanzanian judges "to prevent Bernard Ntuyahaga from being extradited to Rwanda." He will be cited by the prosecution as an expert witness in the trial that is opening in Brussels.

India non-aligned, but held back by insurgencies

India was an active participant at the Rome conference that created the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998. Much of its interest was linked to the legacy of the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who had a vision of nations not allied with major power blocs. An international court that is not beholden to such blocs has some appeal in India. But issues of sovereignty, internal insurgencies and India's aspiration to have a permanent seat at the UN Security Council made it not signing the ICC Statute.

Brief news:

Canada

• The Rwandan defendant attacked in jail

• Finland prepares to try a Rwandan suspect

Former Yugoslavia

• "Scorpions" sentenced in Serbia

• ICTY: Lukic trial transfered to Sarajevo

Peru

• Washington spurs on Peruvian justice

 

issue
22 October 2007

Germain Katanga, second Congolese transfer to the ICC

Arrested by Congolese authorities in February 2005, former militia leader Germain Katanga, alias Simba ("lion" in Swahili), was transferred from Kinshasa to The Hague on October 18. The International Criminal Court (ICC) accuses him of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the February 23, 2003 attack on the Bogoro village in Ituri, eastern Congo. After more than three years of investigation, the ICC now has only two suspects in custody: Katanga and former militia leader Thomas Lubanga, who was transferred from Kinshasa to The Hague on March 17, 2006.

CDF: a “legitimate” cause

You committed horrible crimes, but your struggle was legitimate and that makes a difference. That is essentially what the judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone said on October 9 when they sentenced two leaders of the former Civil Defense Forces (CDF), high priest Allieu Kondewa and war director Moinina Fofana to 7 and 8 years in prison. They had been found guilty of war crimes on August 2. This delicate judgment, which was part of the debate during the presidential campaign, gave validity to the notion that fighting for the return to democracy is not the same as fighting against it.

Croatia proves itself

On October 15, Branimir Glavas, a retired Croatian general and long-time head of 1 of the 20 Croatian counties, entered the county court of Zagreb. He is accused of war crimes committed 16 years ago, during the war in former Yugoslavia. Leaning on a cane, this 51-year-old man, usually energetic, seemed weakened. His voice trembled as he greeted his peaceful supporters.

Brief news:

• EU-ICTY-Serbia: same carrot, same stick

• Rwanda: Double justice for Bagambiki

• Lebanon: A «panel» to select the judges

• Iraq: A judge's words

• USA-South Africa: lawsuit opened against 50 multinationals over apartheid

issue
21 December 2011

Links to articles and PDF of IJT 142.

issue
15 February 2012

Summary and link to PDF of IJT 145.

issue
29 February 2012

Summary and link to PDF of IJT 146.

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