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Int. Criminal Court Begins DR Congo Investigations

International Criminal Court Announces the Launch of Formal Investigations in the Democratic Republic of Congo


WHAT: The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday announced the launch of formal ICC investigations into the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Prosecutor’s Office will now look into allegations of crimes falling within the ICC’s jurisdiction (namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes), committed anywhere in the territory of the DRC since July 1, 2002 (the date of entry into force of the Rome Statute of the ICC).

WHEN: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo first announced that his office would “follow closely” the situation in the northeastern region of the DRC in July 2003, after receiving communications from individuals and non-governmental organizations monitoring the human rights situation there.

The opening of these investigations follows the referral of the situation in a letter signed by DRC President Joseph Kabila that was submitted to the Office of Prosecutor, as announced by his office on April 19, 2004.

HOW: In submitting this referral, President Kabila committed the DRC to cooperating with the Office of the Prosecutor in its investigations.

A referral by an ICC State Party is one of three ways that a case can be brought to the ICC, in addition to a referral by the UN Security Council under its Chapter VII authority, or the proprio motu initiation of an investigation by the Prosecutor on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.

Important notice:

The Coalition, an independent NGO movement, is dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC’s trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, does not endorse/promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.

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