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Chief Prosecutor of the ICC to be elected

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to be Elected Candidate is Argentine Lawyer, Public Servant and Junta Prosecutor

New York - Following an intensive six-month international search, the the first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to be elected at the United Nations on Monday by the 89 members of the ICC's governing Assembly of States Parties. Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, an eminent Argentine prosecutor, lawyer and public servant, emerged as the consensus candidate following an informal meeting at the UN last month.

Mr. Moreno Ocampo's experience includes having led the team of prosecutors that analyzed 10,000 complaints of human rights abuses and proceeded with 700 cases of alleged kidnapping, torture, and "disappearances" against Argentine military leaders of the 1976 to 1983 dictatorship. "The experience of Moreno Ocampo in investigating crimes of Argentina's military junta and violations of the laws of war during the Malvinas-Falkans conflict will make him a highly competent and skilled ICC Prosecutor," said David Donat-Cattin, Senior Officer of the International Law and Human Rights Program at Parliamentarians for Global Action. Mr. Moreno Ocampo also led prosecutions arising from Argentina's September 1987 military rebellion, amongst other key roles.

Mr. Moreno Ocampo's wide-ranging career as a public servant includes positions at Transparency International, an anti-corruption organization where he is Board Member and former President of the Latin America division, and Harvard University, where he is currently completing a term as the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Law. "The election of an experienced prosecutor and Harvard professor is further proof that the Court will be a serious, responsible and effective institution," said Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program.

"The Prosecutor will be charged with one of the most difficult tasks facing the Court in making crucial decisions about which investigations to pursue," said Fiona McKay, International Justice Program Director of Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights. "His election brings us one step closer to having a fully operational International Criminal Court." The ICC is a court of last resort for individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It could take at least a year before the ICC begins its first trials, according to ICC experts. It is expected that all of the Court's top officers and up to 200 professional staff will be in place by year's end. That number will likely grow to 350 by the close of 2004.

Mr. Moreno Ocampo is expected to be sworn in in June. His curriculum vitae can be found online at http://www.un.org/law/icc/elections/prosecutor/moreno_ocampo.

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