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International Criminal Court Prosecutor Sworn In


International Criminal Court Prosecutor Takes Office

Luis Moreno Ocampo Begins Nine Year Post as First Chief Prosecutor

New York - The first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina, will be sworn in in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday, June 16, formally establishing the Office of the Prosecutor of the new ICC. Charged with investigating and, when necessary, prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the immediate tasks before the Prosecutor will be to retain a team of key advisors, begin reviewing the more than 200 referrals the Court has received since it opened its doors on July 1 of last year and devise a prosecutorial strategy.

"One of the primary goals of the Coalition was to have an independent prosecutor, the legal basis for which was achieved in the Rome Statute," said William Pace, convenor of the 2,000-member NGO Coalition for the ICC. "We feel very fortunate to now have Luis Moreno Ocampo, who brings extraordinary prosecutorial experience and personal qualities to the ICC, to fill this crucial role," he said. The prosecutor will serve an unrenewable nine year term, and is expected to provide a list of candidates for deputy prosecutor at the next meeting of the Assembly of States Parties this September.

Best known for his prosecutorial work in the trials of military leaders accused of kidnapping, torture, and "disappearances" during Argentina's "dirty war," Mr. Moreno Ocampo has also led prosecutions arising from Argentina's September 1987 military rebellion, and investigations into violations of the laws of war during the Malvinas-Falkland conflict. Mr. Moreno Ocampo's career includes positions at Transparency International, an anti-corruption organization where he is Board Member and former President of the Latin America and Caribbean division, and Harvard University, where he recently completed a term as the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Law.

The ceremony will entail a solemn pledge and statements by the prosecutor as well as statements from the President of the Assembly of States Parties, H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan; the President of the ICC, Judge Philippe Kirsch of Canada; former Nuremburg trial lawyer, Mr. Benjamin Ferencz; CICC Convenor, Mr. William Pace, and defense and victims spokespersons. On June 17 and 18, Mr. Moreno Ocampo will convene a public hearing of experts in international criminal law, national judges and prosecutors, and representatives of civil society and the media to advise him on policy questions facing the Office of the Prosecutor as it commences its work.

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