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"He was alive. They burned him"

Nick Kaufman on the Gatumba Massacre 2004

  Saadi Gaddafi "extradited" to Libya

6March 2014
Interview with Nick Kaufman on the Amanpour show

  Political Exchange   22 May 2013


Buyanga hires Gaddafi lawyer to fight Interpol arrest warrant


HARARE - Exiled businessman Frank Buyanga has hired Nick Kaufman to fight an Interpol arrest warrant issued against him at the behest of the Zimbabwean government.

The International Criminal Court defence counsel, who has also represented the likes of Saadi Gaddafi in his extradition case from Niger, said he was confident of a positive outcome for his client as the Paris-based organisation’s red notice was issued over a largely politicised civil matter.

“A number of High Court and at least one Supreme Court judge have thrown out the claims, and charges against Buyanga and his Hamilton Group of Companies, so there is no basis for this action,” Kaufman told the Daily News by telephone from Netherlands this week.

“In that regard, it is hard to disassociate oneself from the impression that the Zimbabwean arrest warrant (and related Interpol notice) was issued against him after he had instituted legal proceedings (against) a government minister,” he said, adding there has been “serious criticism on the application of these notices, as civil disputes cannot be settled by them”.

According to Wikipedia, an Interpol red notice or international flag is issued by the global crime fighting agency for members to share information on wanted persons and when these individuals' names come to the attention of other jurisdictions, the requesting authority is instantly notified. And when this happens, a request for provisional arrest or extradition request is made.

While there are seven categories of these notices - from red to purple - Interpol only publishes notices "if they satisfy all conditions for processing" and are not in violation of such statues as Article 3 of its Constitution, which prohibits action or intervention based on political, military, religious or racial persecution.

Kaufman said Buyanga was being unjustly hounded, especially after he had been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Zimbabwean police and courts in December 2010 in the financing deals he had done with several people years back.

Coincidentally, the flamboyant businessman’s legal troubles resurfaced after he had sued Transport and Communications minister Nicholas Goche over a $70 000 debt.

With Buyanga relocating to South Africa in 2010 and after his Hamilton group had been cleared of any criminal conduct — as encapsulated in chief inspector Chikandiwa’s three-year-old affidavit — he has inexplicably found himself on the Interpol wanted list.

Even though the young and self-styled property investor, and financier had been cleared of any charges, he is still fighting sporadic court battles with several people, who claim to have lost their properties on the sly.

But this week, Kaufman — who has reportedly lodged a 70-page dossier to annul the international arrest warrant — was adamant that there was never an intention to deprive people of their assets.

“I challenge anyone to come forward with a paper or documentation, which talks about interest rates or anything usurious. Nothing can be further from the truth that Buyanga and his businesses were involved in loan-sharking activities,” he said.

Recently, the 33-year-old businessman scored two legal victories when the Supreme Court dismissed an application by Tonderai Tarima for the reversal of the sale of a Borrowdale property and a deeds registry employee — regarded as central to his prosecution.

The Johannesburg-based businessman counts, among his friends, Equatorial Guinea president Theodore Obiang Nguema and ex-Malawian leader Bakili Muluzi.


International court's credibility in dock over failed prosecutions
By Thomas Escritt

THE HAGUE |         Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:14am EDT

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The collapse of the International Criminal Court's case against an ally of Kenya's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is the latest blow to a tribunal under close scrutiny for securing just one conviction since it was set up more than a decade ago.

Handed the difficult - some might say impossible - task of building cases for crimes committed years earlier and many thousands of miles away, based on testimony from often unreliable or uncooperative witnesses in hostile environments, prosecutors have struggled to make charges stick.

The unraveling of the case against Francis Muthaura is illustrative of the court's difficulties.


The ICC was seen as a successor to the Nuremberg tribunals that tried Nazi war criminals and U.N.-backed ad hoc courts such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), also based in The Hague, and the tribunal that sought those responsible for massacres in Rwanda.

The world's first permanent international criminal court, it was set up under the Rome Statute in 2002 to pursue justice for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity in places where courts are weak. It has the support of most of Africa, Latin America and Europe, but not the backing of big powers the United States, China, Russia and India.

The court can only investigate crimes in countries which are signatories to the Rome Statute or when the U.N. Security Council asks the ICC to become involved, as it did in the case of Muammar Gaddafi's violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Libya.

It is hemmed in by the fact that investigators can only operate on sufferance of the countries they are working in, which can complicate the situation in dangerous or hostile areas. With no police force of its own, it relies on their cooperation to make arrests too.

Securing reliable witnesses under these circumstances - the key issue - is very difficult, said Stephen Rapp, the U.S. ambassador responsible for international criminal justice, who prosecuted former Liberian president Charles Taylor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone and was previously a prosecutor in the United States.

The only conviction the ICC has secured to date is Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga. In contrast the ICTY convicted 68 of the 101 suspects it took to trial. Of the Rwanda tribunal's 75 completed cases, only 12 have so far ended in acquittals.



Former prosecutors, attorneys and legal experts interviewed for this story said dangerous conditions for investigators and lack of cooperation were the most problematic constraints.

Previous one-issue tribunals may have had an easier job because hostilities were easing or had ended, some said.

Nick Kaufman, a former prosecutor at the ICTY and the Special Court for Sierra Leone who now defends suspects at the ICC, said investigations for the Yugoslav tribunal were helped by the fact that NATO peacekeeping forces were often close by.

"The ICC is often dealing with ongoing conflicts in difficult and dangerous working environments," he said.

(Editing by Sara Webb, Sonya Hepinstall, Janet McBride)

FRANCE 24 latest world news report          International breaking news and headlines - FRANCE 24

7 September 2012

Gaddafi son to leave political asylum in Niger  

Saadi Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, will be allowed to leave Niger, where he sought asylum after the fall of his father's regime. FRANCE 24 spoke to his lawyer, who declined to confirm whether Saadi was bound for South Africa.       

Saadi Gaddafi, one of the late Moammar Gaddafi's sons, may have found a new home, FRANCE 24 has learned. The former football player, who has been living in Niger for the past year following the collapse of his father’s regime, may be headed to South Africa.

Niger, which has refused to send Saadi, 39, to his native Libya to face charges out of concern that he would not be treated fairly, has agreed to let him leave for South Africa. South Africa has reportedly agreed to welcome him, according to sources close to the issue.

However, the transfer is currently blocked because Saadi is under a travel ban due to sanctions imposed on Libya by the United Nations Security Council last year.

His Israeli lawyer, Nick Kaufman, confirmed that Niger had agreed to let him leave.

"It's no secret that the minister for foreign affairs in Niger, Mister Bazoum Mohamed, has given his permission for my client to leave the country," Kaufman told FRANCE 24 in Jerusalem. "We're now checking our options to see where he could possibly go."

He refused to either confirm or deny that South Africa was his most likely destination. "Mister Gaddafi had contacted a number of countries, and I've been in contact with the most senior officials in those countries. I can't comment on the status of those negotiations," Kaufman said.

He did say that he had applied to the United Nations  Sanctions Committee on Libya for a one-time waiver of Gaddafi's travel ban to let him leave Niger. However, the issue is being held up at the committee, which comprises the 15 members of the Security Council.

Kaufman claims that at least one member state has asked for more information, adding that he did not know which countries were behind the move and suspected that “murky politics” were behind the unusual delay. “I would assume that the United Nations sanctions committee, of all institutions, operates according to the rule of law and due process, and in due course it will approve my client's request to lift the travel ban," Kaufman said.

After arriving in Niger in September 2011, Saadi was granted asylum for “humanitarian reasons”. But after he granted an interview to Al Arabiya television in February 2012 calling for the overthrow of the new regime in Libya, he has been put under house arrest by Nigerien authorities.

But he faces no charges in that country and its authorities have been actively seeking to find him a new home. Kaufman told FRANCE 24 that there had been one assassination attempt against his client in Niger and that his life was “in considerable danger” because of the unrest in the region, especially in neighbouring Mali.

Libya would like Gaddafi handed over to face charges of allegedly misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan Football Federation. At the request of the new Libyan authorities, Interpol has issued a so-called “red notice”calling on its 188 member states to help arrest him.

However, unlike his brother Saif al-Islam, Saadi Gaddafi is not sought by the International Criminal Court. Saif al-Islam is in Libyan custody and is the subject of a dispute between Libya and the ICC to figure out who will judge him.

On September 5, Abdallah al Senoussi –  Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief, who was the subject of an ICC arrest warrant and who was wanted by several countries – was transferred  from Mauritania to Libya.

    10 May 2012

Ivory Coast militia leader is willing to face trial, says lawyer

Charles Blé Goudé, who helped keep Laurent Gbagbo in power, is said to be willing to face any court that can give him a 'fair trial' in Lagos

 Charles Blé Goudé

Charles Blé Goudé, leader of the Young Patriots militia in Ivory Coast. Photograph: Kampbel/AFP/Getty Images

The fugitive leader of a violent youth militia, who helped keep the former Ivory Coast president and war crimes suspect Laurent Gbagbo in power, is willing to hand himself in to face trial, his lawyer has told the Guardian.

Charles Blé Goudé, the charismatic head of the Young Patriots, fled Ivory Coast last April in the final days of a five-month conflict triggered by Gbagbo's attempt to cling on to power after losing elections five months earlier.

Known as the "street general", Goudé's rhetoric against the country's former colonial power, France, resonated among supporters who flocked to mass army enlistments as the regime crumbled. Anti-French riots organised by the group forced 8,000 foreigners to evacuate the country in 2004.

But fiery speeches also targeted northern Ivorians who shared the ethnicity of the poll victor, Alassane Ouattara, and mobs of Young Patriots carried out lynchings known as "Article 125" – named after the cost of a litre of fuel and matches for burning their victims alive.

Nick Kaufman, legal representative for Goudé, told the Guardian: "Charles Blé Goudé, for his part, has faithfully and peacefully served the people of Ivory Coast and will continue to do so wherever he may be. To those that deny this, Mr Goudé is prepared to face any court which can guarantee equality before the law, a fair trial and his personal safety."

Kaufman, whose other clients include Saadi Gaddafi, the playboy son of the dead Libyan leader, said he had asked the attorney general of Ivory Coast "to clarify whether the office of the prosecutor in The Hague has made ​​contact with the Ivorian authorities to seek the surrender of his client to the international criminal court and, if so, whether he intends to assent to his indictment by the institution."

Sources told the Guardian that the firebrand youth leader was also likely to be included on a list of potential war crimes suspects being investigated by the international criminal court (ICC). "The ICC asked Ghana to make efforts to bring Goudé back to Ivory Coast, but of course it's a delicate matter to hand over someone so high profile," an official said.

In his last televised appearance, as rebel forces closed in on the crumbling regime in the main city of Abidjan, Goudé, dressed in a dirty white vest, gave a rambling, incoherent speech from a dimly lit, rubble-strewn compound. He then fled to Ghana while other members of the regime were imprisoned, killed or – in the case of one army general – caught disguised as a woman. Ivory Coast's attorney general issued an international arrest warrant for Goudé on charges of xenophobia and inciting violence.

His re-emergence from the shadows comes barely three weeks after campaigners hailed the conviction of the  former Liberian president Charles Taylor for war crimes as a victory for international justice and a step towards ending impunity in Africa. Keeping Taylor company at The Hague is Goudé's former protector, Gbagbo.

Seeking to avoid a diplomatic row, officials in Ghana have consistently denied knowledge of Goudé's whereabouts. But confidantes in regular contact with him said Goudé flitted between an upmarket neighbourhood in the capital, Accra, and nearby Togo, where some of his family have settled.

A trial on home soil is potentially fraught. A 2002 army mutiny partitioned Ivory Coast into a government-controlled south and rebel-held north, and deep divisions linger. Rebels who dislodged Gbagbo from power with the help of United Nations and French troops also committed atrocities – including summarily executing hundreds in the town of Duekoue – as they swept from their northern enclaves to encircle the main city of Abidjan. Some are also believed to be under investigation by the ICC but to date, no pro-Ouattara fighter has been tried in the country, fuelling accusations of a one-sided justice.

Gnan Xavier, a trader in Abidjan said: "The government has talked about reconciliation but what does that mean when only those who fought against him are being tried? In my street, there are people who killed on both sides."

In the same neighbourhood, Baba Cisse, whose friend was burned alive by a mob, said: "I'd like to at least see Blé tried. Hiding out and sending messages through intermediaries in the manner of Bin Laden doesn't strike me as the behaviour of an innocent man."

More than 3,000 people were killed before the conflict ended when Gbagbo was pulled out from a bunker in the presidential palace in April last year.

     25 May 2012

Türkiye komutanları isteyebilir mi

İsrail Yönetimi, Mavi Marmara iddianamesiyle ilgili yorum yapmazken İsrail basını, Ankara’nın adı geçen dört üst düzey yetkiliyi kırmızı bültenle isteyip isteyemeyeceğini tartışıyor.Bir İsrailli yetkili baskın emrini vermekle suçlanan eski genelkurmay başkanı Aşkenazi için “Mesih, Kudüs’e beyaz bir eşek üzerinde girer de o İstanbul’a gitmez” dedi.

GAZZE’ye insani yardım taşıyan Mavi Marmara gemisine 31 Mayıs 2010’da yapılan ve 9 Türk vatandaşının hayatını kaybettiği baskınla ilgili İstanbul Cumhuriyet Savcısı Mehmet Akif Ekinci tarafından hazırlanan 144 sayfalık iddianame İsrail’de yankı yarattı.

İddianamede dönemin İsrail Genelkurmay Başkanı Rau Aluf Gabiel Aşkenazi, Deniz Kuvvetleri Komutanı Eliezer Alfred Marom, İsrail Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanı Avişay Levi ve eski İstihbarat Başkanı Amos Yadlin “şüpheli” olarak geçiyor.

İsrailli uluslararası hukuk uzmanları Türkiye’nin uluslararası hukuk çerçevesinde “vatandaşlarını öldüren yabancı uyruklu kişiler” için İnterpol’den kırmızı bülten çıkarmasını isteyebileceğini belirtti.

Mesih benzetmesi

İddianame için en ilginç ifade ise Financial Times’a konuşan bir İsrailli yetkiliden geldi. İsrailli yetkili, “Eski Genelkurmay Başkanı Aşkenazi’nin İstanbul’a gitmez. Önce Mesih, Kudüs’e beyaz bir eşek üzerinde girer” dedi.  Haaretz Gazetesi’ne görüş bildiren Lahey’deki Uluslararası Adalet Divanı’nda görev yapan İsrail avukatı Nick Kaufman, “Bu, bir iade anlaşması varsa gözaltı ve iade talebine yol açabilir. Her ülke iade etmeyebilir ancak bu kesinlikle tatsız durumla yaratır” şeklinde konuştu. İsrail Dışişleri Bakanlığı’na eski Hukuk Müşaviri Prof. Robbie Sabel ise Türkiye’nin Interpol’a başvurmasının, komutanların yurt dışına seyahat etmeleri halinde “geçici tehlike”ye neden olabileceğini, ancak muhtemelen Türkiye’ye iade edilmeyeceklerini savundu.

Predator iddiası

Haaretz, Ankara’nın, iddianameyi ABD Kongresi’nden Predator’ları sağlamak için kullanmayı planlamış olabileceği, Washington’un da Ankara’ya iddianameyi çekmesi için yoğun baskı yaptığı iddialarına da yer verdi. Gazeteye konuşan İsrailli kaynaklar da İsrail’in bazı Avrupalı ülkelerin de aracılığıyla Türkiye ile ilişkileri düzeltmeye çalıştığını ancak Ankara’nın özür ve tazminat talebini yineleyerek bu girişimleri reddettiğini söyledi.

İsrailli ‘şüpheli’ komutan yanıt verdi

İddianamede dönemin İsrail Genelkurmay Başkanı Rau Aluf Gabiel Aşkenazi, Deniz Kuvvetleri Komutanı Eliezer Alfred Marom, İsrail Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanı Avişay Levi ile şüpheli olarak adı geçen eski İstihbarat Başkanı Amos Yadlin meydan okudu. Yadlin, Channel 1 kanalına yaptığı açıklamada, “İsrail ordusunda 40 yıl görev yaptım, binlerce saatlik uçuş, onların yüzlercesi, düşman hatlarının gerisinde. Aldığım riskler bu haberden çok daha büyük” sözlerini kullandı.



ICC Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo is likely to avoid Kenya in his farewell tour to Africa later this month. By yesterday a Cabinet sub committee had not yet confirmed that Kenya would be willing to host Ocampo and the new prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who are on a joint tour of African countries.

"The government is not keen on his visit and there are MPs who are also planning demonstrations to coincide with the visit," said a cabinet minister who is a member of the sub-committee that handles the ICC.

Yesterday Fisheries minister Amos Kingi, a member of the sub committee, told the Star that he was not aware of the visit because he missed its last meeting. "In any case we are committed as a government to co-operate with ICC. The government made a public declaration on this and has since then not issued a contrary opinion," said Kingi.

Meanwhile the ICC denied yesterday that it had issued summonses for the  four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity  to appear at ICC on June 12 for a status   conference as reported in the Sunday Nation. 

The four are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Civil Service  chief Francis  Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang.

“There were no   summonses issued for  any of the four accused... and there is no   confirmed date for the  status conference at this stage,” said ICC   spokesman Fadi el Abdallah yesterday. He said in general the accused are not  requested to attend status conferences unless ordered by the judges.

According to multiple sources close to the ICC, Ocampo will skip Kenya and instead visit Kampala. However Ocampo and his delegation will meet senior government officials if Kenya confirms that it will host him .

The ICC has been reluctant to release information about Ocampo's Africa leg tour. “Your email has been forwarded to the Office of the Prosecutor. The persons in charge of the Office's media relations will respond to you as soon as (it is) possible for them taking into consideration their busy agenda,” Abdallah responded yesterday.

Ocampo is making a farewell tour of African nations that have cases at The Hague before he leaves office in June. He will be accompanied by the ICC chief prosecutor-designate and current deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Bensouda will officially take over on June 16, 2012 when Ocampo has completed a full term of nine years.

Apart from Kenya, the ICC is dealing with situations in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan,  Libya and Côte d’Ivoire.

Activists and some MPs threatened to hold demonstrations over Ocampo's alleged bias when they heard he might be coming. Reports of a possible arrival of Ocampo to the country had started raising temperatures with a group of

“Definitely those who are thinking of demonstrating against Ocampo are not human rights activists. We want a full battle against impunity,” rights activist Ken Wafula told the Star.

He added that civil society groups will mobilise Kenyans to counter any attempt to disrupt the visit by Ocampo. “If someone actually holds a demonstration against the chief prosecutor, we will be expecting arrests because that would become a threat to national security,” Wafula added.

According   to Nick Kaufman, a prominent  defence counsel at the ICC, the Rome Statute does not   oblige accused to attend a  pre-trial status conference. “Unless   ordered otherwise, one would  presume that the accused could waive   their right to attend a  pre-trial status conference in the same way   that they could have  waived their right to attend the confirmation   hearings,” he said.

Matters on the   agenda at a pre-trial  status conference could include the   language to be used at  trial, agreements on evidence, the prosecution's   disclosure of  incriminating and exculpatory evidence, the defence's   notification of  special pleas and alibis, and the fixing of deadlines   for requesting  the protection of witnesses.    

Kaufman anticipated that the most  contentious issue would be setting the date for the hearing of  evidence at trial. “To   date there has been only one other case  in which charges have been   confirmed against suspects at liberty and  that was in the Darfur   situation. In that case, counsel for the two  accused announced that   they had waived their right to appear at the  first status conference   post-confirmation,” Kaufman said.

    5 April 2012

Réaction des avocats du président du Cojep : “Charles Blé Goudé n’est pas un criminel”


«Charles Blé Goudé n’est pas un criminel ! Si certains parce qu’ils considèrent qu’ils ont commis des crimes très graves et qu’ils ne veulent pas faire face à la justice ivoirienne préfèrent rester à l’extérieur, je ne peux pas les forcer à rentrer (…) Blé Goudé, un mandat d’arrêt a été émis contre lui, la procédure est en cours. ça dépendra de lui. Moi je préfère le juger ici, mais peut-être que lui voudra aller à La Haye ? »

Tels sont les propos tenus par le chef de l’Etat ivoirien, Alassane Ouattara, au cours de son dernier entretien accordé à la télévision ivoirienne. Propos qui pourraient laisser croire que M. Blé Goudé est en fuite et que la justice ivoirienne et la justice internationale sont à sa recherche.

Cette façon de présenter M. Blé Goudé laisse croire à l’opinion qu’il s’agit d’un criminel responsable de certains crimes et tueries en Côte d’Ivoire.

En tant qu’avocat de M. Blé Goudé, représentant désormais ses intérêts sur le plan international, je tiens à faire la mise au point suivante :

A ce jour, ni M. Blé Goudé, ni son conseil n’ont connaissance d’un quelconque mandat d’arrêt émis contre lui par la Cour pénale internationale.

M. Blé Goudé a trouvé refuge en dehors de la Côte d’Ivoire pour sa sécurité, qui, comme tout le monde le sait, est très menacée. En tout état de cause, n’ayant absolument rien à cacher, M. Blé Goudé est prêt à se présenter devant n’importe quelle juridiction qui fera preuve d’équité afin que la vérité soit révélée au grand jour. Contrairement à l’image de criminel que ses adversaires politiques tentent vainement de lui attribuer, M. Charles Blé Goudé est un homme de paix qui a toujours opposé aux armes une lutte aux mains nues et un franc-parler qui dérange. Toutes les déclarations publiques à son encontre ne sont que le fruit d’une manipulation qui a pour objectif de l’exclure de la vie politique de son pays, face à sa popularité qui, malgré son exil, reste toujours gênante.

Nick Kaufman

   2 April 2012

  13 March 2012

‘Kony 2012’: os dois lados de uma  campanha viral

Para promotor, vídeo contra ugandense chama  atenção, mas ofusca outros casos

Daniela  Kresch

Especial para O GLOBO

O processo no Tribunal Penal Internacional de Haia (TPI) contra o  terrorista ugandense Joseph Kony, personagem da campanha viral “Kony 2012”, que  se transformou numa coqueluche nas redes sociais, nas últimas duas semanas, vai  de vento em popa.

O advogado britânico nacionalizado israelense Nicholas Kaufman, de 43 anos,  que trabalhou de 2008 a 2010 como promotor do TPI no caso contra Kony, revelou  ao GLOBO que os promotores da corte já reuniram evidências e testemunhos  suficientes para condená-lo por crimes contra a Humanidade. Um mandado de prisão  contra ele foi emitido em 2005. O único detalhe, agora, é capturar o terrorista,  que está foragido. Isso porque o TPI não tem mandato para julgar ou condenar  acusados à revelia.

— Não posso detalhar que evidências são essas, mas o TPI reuniu muitas provas  contra Kony. Há fortes argumentos, muito fortes mesmo, contra ele — informa  Kaufman, que também ajudou a investigar os crimes cometidos na ex-Iugoslávia, de  2003 a 2005 O problema é que o TPI não tem a possibilidade de julgar alguém em  sua ausência. Se não houver um esforço conjunto para encontrá-lo, pode ser que  ele nunca seja julgado.

Fundador do Exército de Resistência do Senhor (ERS), Joseph Kony é infame por  sua brutalidade e violência em nome da religião. Sob seu comando e inspiração, o  ERS promove sequestros de crianças, violações de mulheres e execuções em massa  civis no norte de Uganda. Seu nome, no entanto, era desconhecido da maioria até  que uma campanha viral da ONG americana Invisible Children foi deslanchada, no  dia 5 de março. Um filme de 30 minutos postado no site You Tube desfiando as  atrocidades cometidas por Kony, já foi assistido por mais de 76 milhões de  pessoas.

Para Nicholas Kaufman, o filme é “muito bem-vindo” porque atrai a atenção da  comunidade internacional para o caso. Mas, por outro lado, o filme transformaria  o terrorista numa espécie de “celebridade”, ofuscando outros nomes investigados  pelo TPI que também estão foragidos.

-- A campanha sensacionaliza alguém que precisa ser levado à Justiça e acaba  ofuscando outros casos ainda mais graves, como o de Omar Bashir (ex-presidente  do Sudão), que é procurado não só por crimes contra a Humanidade, mas também por  genocídio – critica Kaufman, lembrando que nem no caso contra Kony, o terrorista  é o único réu. -- Foram emitidos mandados de prisão não só contra Kony, mas  também contra outros quatro líderes do ERS: Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Raska  Lukwiya e Dominic Ongwen. Dois deles morreram, mas, além de Kony, há outros dois  acusados a solta.

A campanha “Kony 2012” está sendo alvo de muitas críticas. Nos útimos dias,  ela tem sido criticada por internautas porque, entre outras motivos, o dinheiro  arrecadado pela ONG Invisible Children teria sido usado majoritariamente para  custear a produção do filme ao invés de ajudar as vítimas. O promotor-chefe do  TPI, Luis Moreno Ocampo, defendeu o curta, afirmando que ele ajuda a  conscientizar o mundo quanto aos problemas de Uganda. Kaufman concorda, mas com  ressalvas:

-- Quase nunca concordo com ele, mas dessa vez Ocampo está parcialmente  correto. Esse tipo de publicidade realmente leva as pessoas a agirem. Mas é  preciso respeitar os direitos de uma pessoa de não ser declarada culpada antes  do julgamento. Esse filme julga e condena Kony e transforma qualquer julgamento  que ele terá, no futuro, em injusto – ataca o ex-promotor do TPI.

Para Kaufman, no entanto, todo esse barulho pode acabar sendo por nada. Isso  porque, apesar de todo o esforço mundial, Joseph Kony pode acabar morrendo antes  de ser julgado.

-- Na minha opinião, que quem vive pela espada, morre pela espada. Joseph  Kony nunca usou de outro método a não ser a violência em toda a sua vida.  Pessoas como ele morrem sempre violentamente.

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   22 January 2012



   16 December 2011

ICC dismisses charges against Rwandan suspect

The judges ordered the release of Callixte Mbarushimana, saying there is not enough evidence to support the charges against him.

Prosecutors said they would send the case to appeals judges and quickly filed a request to halt Mbarushimana's release pending the outcome of the appeal. If judges reject the request, the court has to find a country willing to accept Mbarushimana before he can be released and it is not clear how long that could take.

Prosecutors had accused Mbarushimana of being a senior member of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known by its French acronym the FDLR. The group is accused of unleashing savage attacks on civilians in the North and South Kivu provinces of Congo as a "bargaining tool" to win power.

If he is freed, Mbarushimana would be the first suspect released from ICC custody since the court's inception in 2002.

In February 2010, judges refused to confirm charges against a Darfur rebel accused of attacking African Union peacekeepers, but unlike Mbarushimana the rebel, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, was never taken into custody.

In an unusual case at the court, prosecutors accused Mbarushimana of contributing to crimes from a Paris apartment "by orchestrating an international campaign of propaganda and extortion" to force Rwanda to accept the return of the rebels who had fled the country after its 1994 genocide.

In a majority decision, a three judge panel said evidence presented at a preliminary hearing in September was not strong enough to merit sending the case to trial.

The evidence was "not sufficient to establish substantial grounds to believe that the Suspect encouraged the troops' morale through his press releases and radio messages, and, therefore, he could have not provided ... a significant contribution to the commission of crimes," two judges wrote in their decision. The presiding judge at the September hearing, disagreed, saying Mbarushimana should have been sent to trial.

Nick Kaufman, the lawyer who represented Mbarushimana at the preliminary hearing, praised the decision.

"We welcome this brave decision which is a moment of truth and vindication for Callixte Mbarushimana," Kaufman told The Associated Press in an email.

Mbarushimana was arrested in Paris in October, 2010, and transferred to the court in The Hague.

He faced 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity but always maintained his innocence.

The FDLR was established by former guerrillas accused of genocide in Rwanda's 1994 ethnic slaughter. After moving to Congo, the FDLR launched attacks on Rwanda aimed at ousting the government in Kigali.

Knowing they could not win a conventional military campaign, the rebels retreated to the dense forests of eastern Congo and from there went on a yearlong killing spree that left hundreds dead and forced thousands from their homes.

FDLR fighters "killed, raped and tortured civilians in this region. They carried out pillaging and burned down entire villages," deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges in September. Women were raped, often repeatedly and by several attackers in turn, she added.

After the Rwanda genocide, Mbarushimana went to work as a software programmer for the United Nations in Angola and then Kosovo.

He was arrested in Kosovo at the request of Rwanda but released in 2001 because Rwanda failed to properly prepare his indictment. He was later indicted by the Rwanda war crimes tribunal, set up by the U.N. in Tanzania. But his case was dropped.

Gregory Alex, a senior U.N. official who has worked in Rwanda and Congo and has long wanted to see Mbarushimana face trial, told the AP he was disappointed by the decision.

"He should be arrested and tried for his crimes. There should be loud criticism of this," he said.

Alex said the order to release Mbarushimana comes at a time when authorities have been making headway in efforts to dismantle the FDLR.

"We've been making good progress," he said, adding that 169 FDLR fighters surrendered in November.

     7 December 2011

Mexico 'stops entry' of Libya's Saadi Gaddafi

Saadi Gaddafi in 2010 

Saadi Gaddafi, 38, crossed the border into Niger in a convoy of vehicles in September

The Mexican authorities say they have stopped a plot by a criminal gang organisation to smuggle one of the sons of
Libya's ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi into the country.

Saadi Gaddafi has been under house arrest in the West African state of Niger since he fled Libya in September.

His lawyer, Nick Kaufman, denied Mr Gaddafi had ever tried to flout a UN travel ban and escape.

Mexican officials say the plot came to light through intelligence reports. It involved buying a number of properties in Mexico, including one near the resort of Puerto Vallarta, using false names and documents, they said.

Several people have been arrested.

Safe houses

Mexican Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said the plan involved a criminal ring "of international dimensions," but it was uncovered in September before it could be carried out. The ring involved people from several different countries, including Mexico, Denmark and Canada, Mr Poire told a news conference in Mexico City.

On 14 September - eight days after the Mexican plot was uncovered - Niger said Mr Gaddafi, 38, arrived in the capital, Niamey. He was reported to have been flown in on a military transport plane from the town of Agadez in the north of the country. Mr Kaufman said his client was "grateful for the humanitarian protection afforded him by the Niger authorities" and "would continue to respect the United Nations sanctions" on him until they were lifted or his passport was returned.

'Red notice'

"There is absolutely no truth whatsoever to the allegation that, since fleeing Libya where his life was in grave danger, Saadi Gaddafi has attempted to flout the restrictive measures placed on him by the international community," he told the BBC.

On 29 September, Interpol issued a "red notice" for the arrest of Saadi Gaddafi, requiring member states to arrest him if he was on their territory. The international police agency says he is wanted on allegations of misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan Football Federation.

Mr Gaddafi, who used to play football in Italy's Serie A, is also subject to a travel ban and asset freeze under a UN Security Council resolution passed earlier this year.

In March, in the first few weeks of the Libyan uprising against Col Gaddafi, a veteran Libyan soldier told the BBC that Saadi Gaddafi came to the barracks in the eastern city of Benghazi and gave orders to fire on unarmed demonstrators.

Mr Gaddafi denied the allegations. At the beginning of September, Mr Gaddafi reportedly made contact with the interim authorities, offering to negotiate an end to fighting in Libya. Nothing came of the offer.

Mr Poire said the plot appeared to involve using private flights to move Mr Gaddafi and members of his family to Mexico's Pacific coast. The plotters bought properties in several parts of the country, he said, including Bahia de Banderas, near the popular resort of Puerto Vallarta.

Several people were arrested on 10 and 11 November. They include a Canadian woman named as Cynthia Vanier.

She "was the direct contact with the Gaddafi family and the leader of the group, and presumably was the person in charge of the finances of the operation," Mr Poire said.

16 August 2011

Int'l Court Postpones Hearing for Rwandan Suspect

THE HAGUE, Netherlands  — International Criminal Court judges have postponed a crucial pretrial hearing for a Rwandan accused of war crimes in Congo, saying they cannot guarantee it would be conducted fairly.

In a decision Tuesday, judges blamed their last-minute decision on "disclosure-related issues," but did not elaborate.

Callixte Mbarushimana had been scheduled to appear for a hearing Wednesday at which judges would decide whether or not to confirm 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Mbarushimana's lawyer, Nick Kaufman, said he is disappointed by the decision. Kaufman says he had objected to some prosecution evidence, but had not requested a postponement.

Prosecutors had no immediate comment.

27 July 2011


While the International Criminal Court (ICC) strives to get into its custody the two indicted heads of state, one of the inmates in the court’s detention center is bent on becoming his country’s president. How he plans to manage his presidential campaign from his cell in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, remains to be seen. Equally uncertain is whether Congolese electoral officials would permit him to stand in the November poll.

For now, Jean-Pierre Bemba is set on being the presidential candidate for the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC). At the weekend, the political party gave him its nod, after he wrote to its top officials beseeching them to name him the flag-bearer. However, there are seeming insurmountable odds stacked against his candidature.

Mr. Bemba, 48, is on trial at the ICC over the rape, murder, and pillaging carried out by the militia arm of the MLC against civilians of the Central African Republic during 2002 and 2003. His trial commenced last November.

Mr. Bemba’s defense lawyer, Nick Kaufman, said on July 26 that the law under which the Congolese opposition leader is being tried does not bar him from standing for elections. “There is nothing in the Rome Statute which prevents Mr. Bemba from being the flag bearer for his party in the November 2011 presidential elections. This is even more so the case since – until determined otherwise – Mr. Bemba is an innocent man,” stated Mr. Kaufman.


He added, “Mr. Bemba has devoted his life to the people of the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] and will continue to do so wherever he may be.”

For their part, ICC officials stated that the unfolding scenario was without precedent in the court’s history, so they did not know what to make of it.

What Mr. Kaufman would not answer was whether Mr. Bemba hoped to get out of ICC custody one of these days. The elections are four months away, while Mr. Bemba’s war crimes trial at the Hague-based court could go on for at least another year. How would he manage his campaigns? And if he were elected, would Mr. Bemba run the country from his Dutch cell as he awaits the verdict of the judges? Moreover, would his not-too-charitable bitter rival, incumbent president Joseph Kabila, allow his nemesis the luxury of running for president from a far-flung European jail?

Some observers believe Mr. Bemba’s candidature will yet sail into troubled legal waters. Richard Bondo Tshimbombo Bontshi, a Kinshasa lawyer who formerly headed the organization Advocates Without Borders in Congo, explained that the country’s laws allowed someone on trial to stand for election. “But someone out of the country can’t stand,” he added in an interview with the website.

According to him, Mr. Bemba’s candidature is “strategic” and intended to dissuade any pretenders off the MLC top seat. François Mwamba, the party’s general secretary who openly nursed presidential ambitions, was edged out of the position three months ago, in what could support this view. Mr. Bemba was also seen as trying to show that he was still politically powerful nationally, said Mr. Bontshi, but, he added, while the country’s opposition had reacted to his candidature respectfully, the ruling party had responded with scorn.

The country’s insipid media has largely taken the announcement of Mr. Bemba’s candidature as a “non-issue” and hardly reacted to it, according to local media analyst Juakali Kambale. “In fact, very few people, even the MLC [fanatics] believe that Bemba will be released in order to be part of the election,” said Kambale.

Mr. Bemba has several times asked ICC judges to let him out of detention, committing to appear in court whenever needed. They have declined each time, agreeing with prosecutors that the accused is an influential and wealthy man who could interfere with witnesses or abscond. It is understood Mr. Bemba is working on a fresh bid to get out of detention, in line with court rules that require judges to review the detention of those in custody at least once every 120 days. Since he was taken in, the former Congolese vice president has twice been out of court precincts – to attend the funerals of his father and his step mother, both in Belgium.

With an impressive roll of more than 300 registered political parties gunning for the hearts of the more than 31 million registered voters, seven notable opposition leaders have already announced their candidatures. However, widespread opinion is that only a joint candidate could dislodge Mr. Kabila. And that candidate needs to court the support of Mr. Bemba – if he himself isn’t that candidate. This is probably why prominent contender Etienne Tshisekedi, a Prime Minister in the1990s, has been to The Hague to visit the MLC chief.

Indeed, as ‘Le Pays’ commented, Mr. Bemba is trying to affirm his presence on the country’s political scene, hoping to convince even the most sceptical that he still controls his party and that he is not politically dead.

Yet the ‘Le Palmarès’ newspaper considered that by the MLC deciding to go alone and endorsing the Bemba candidacy, it was complicating the delicate exercise underway for major parties to field a single candidate. In the 2006 election, Mr. Kabila had to endure a run-off against Mr. Bemba, but he has since changed the constitution to enable him retain the presidency through a simple majority win.

One commentator termed what Mr. Bemba was doing as “virtual politics” that exhibited his desire to remain a key player in Congolese politics, and the “undisputed bull in the MLC kraal.” He remarked, “Bemba is pronouncing that he is available to put up a good fight for the presidency, but that fight will be fought on another day, not in 2011.”

     1 August 2011

An Israeli court ruled on Monday that an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia could be extradited to Bosnia to face genocide charges for involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, though he can appeal the move.

Aleksandar Cvetkovic, a Bosnian Serb living in the Jewish state since 2006, was arrested in January on an international warrant issued over testimony he helped shoot some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.

Cvetkovic says that while he served as an army driver when Srebrenica, formerly a UN-protected zone, fell to the Serbs during the 1992-95 civil war, he is innocent of the slaughter.

He has 30 days in which to try to appeal against the Jerusalem District Court's decision at the Israeli Supreme Court, whose final ruling could take months.

"One of our major arguments was that the genocidal intent was not made out in his case," said Nick Kaufman, one of Cvetkovic's lawyers. "We have to learn the judge's decision and see whether or not an appeal is justified here."

Burden relieve

Cvetkovic would be extradited to a court in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, set up in 2005 to relieve the burden on the Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The two courts have prosecuted dozens of Bosnian Serbs over Srebrenica.

Among these is former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, who was arrested by Serbia in May and extradited to The Hague. Bosnian Serb wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic, arrested in 2008, is also on trial for Srebrenica and the Serb siege of Sarajevo. Both men deny wrongdoing.

Cvetkovic's unprecedented case has piqued interest in Israel, with its founding memories of the Holocaust and more recent pro-Palestinian efforts to prosecute its military commanders for alleged war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza.

Marriage secures more than love and devotion
Cvetkovic's marriage to a Jewish woman, with whom he has children, helped him secure Israeli citizenship.

The Bosnian state prosecutor's office, citing testimony from other Serb soldiers, said he was believed to have taken part in shooting more than 800 Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica.

According to evidence cited in the Jerusalem District Court's 56-page ruling, Cvetkovic had "said that this execution is proceeding slowly and that they should also start to use the M-84 machinegun," a suggestion taken up by his comrades.

The Jerusalem District Court conditioned his extradition on assurances by Sarajevo regarding incarceration standards there. 

"To tell the truth, I didn't even interpret the concept 'genocide,' which hovered in the district court, as something shocking. I didn't have time to look at my client and to ask myself questions of that kind: whether the man I'm representing was involved in the acts attributed to him by the Bosnian government. That's not something I usually do. Of course a judicial case that deals with genocide is not at all a simple matter, but the moment that you're dealing with numbers of that magnitude, everything loses meaning ... During those moments I was busy with the legal aspect, I asked myself only one thing: Can the prosecution prove its claims? In such a situation there's no emotion - everything is very professional."

  17 August 2010

'Kaufman said there was substance to the defense's claim that Duch had been just a cog in the Khmer Rouge's killing machine, following the orders of his superiors.

"When you take the Khmer Rouge regime into account, which terrorized anyone who disobeyed it," Kaufman said, "you can see why these regimes produce yes-men. People go out of their way to prove their obedience, until the point when the industry of evil becomes banal. Duch is that kind of person, but I was very impressed by the fact that he owned up to that and recognized his own responsibility."
Defendants at the tribunal are typically represented by international and Cambodian co-lawyers.'

   27 June 2010

'Thousands of Israelis are expected to join a 12-day march across the country beginning today to put pressure on their government to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, the soldier abducted by Hamas four years ago...

The Shalit family has asked Hamas to permit an exchange of letters, which has been refused, according to their lawyer Nick Kaufman. The International Red Cross has also been denied access, which Hamas says could reveal the soldier's location, leading to an Israeli raid or air strike.'

  27 May 2010

'La famille du soldat kidnappé Gilad Shalit à demandé aux organisateurs de Free Gaza (flottille de la Liberté) de mettre pression sur le Hamas pour que des organisations internationales, comme la Croix Rouge, puissent lui rendre visite. La réponse à été un "non" franc et massif. Le père de Shalit, déçu, répond "je pensais que vous vous battiez pour les droits de l'homme. Pardon de m'être trompé."

Nick Kaufman, qui a approché le Free Gaza, au nom de la famille du soldat enlevé, a déclaré avoir offert aux organisateurs de la flottille le plein soutien de la famille et même "la publication d'une lettre officielle demandant la fin du blocus" contre la permission du Hamas de donner du courrier à Gilad, de recevoir des colis alimentaires et des visites d'organisations internationales.'

  25 March 2010

Shalit - European Parliament


1 April 2010

Darfur - Victims at the International Criminal Court