New ICC prosecutor takes office in The Hague

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British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC was sworn in today to begin his nine-year term as prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Khan made his solemn pledge and officially took office in a ceremony held at the ICC headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Khan was elected ICC prosecutor on February 12, 2021, for a nine-year term, on the second resumption 19e session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (ASP) in New York.

In accordance with article 45 of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, the ceremony took place in open court. The ceremony was chaired by the President of the ICC, Judge Piotr Hofmański. Reflecting on the essential role of the Prosecutor in the work of the Court in his remarks, President Hofmański said: “Although the judges are the ones who ultimately decide the verdict in every case, it is also true that these cases do not. would never happen to judges without the decision of the prosecutor to bring them to justice. And it is the Prosecutor who is responsible for the way in which preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions are conducted, and for the manner in which prosecution evidence is selected and presented.

“While the judges are the ones who ultimately decide the verdict in every case, it is also true that these cases would never reach the judges without the prosecutor’s decision to bring them to justice” – ICC President, the judge Piotr HofmaÅ„ski

“On behalf of the Court, I warmly congratulate Mr. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC. As President of the Court, I look forward to working with him to strengthen our common institution, ”he added.

Assembly of States Parties Vice-President Ambassador KateÅ™ina Sequensová, speaking on behalf of the ASP, said Khan brings “an impressive experience of international criminal justice” and that she was convinced that its mandate “will constitute a fundamental pillar of the process of international justice to which we are all deeply attached”. Ambassador Sequensová then administered the solemn pledge.

Mr. Khan took the public oath, declaring: “I solemnly undertake to perform my duties and exercise my powers as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in an honorable, faithful, impartial and conscientious manner, and to respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecution. ”.

“The architecture of the Rome Statute is a promise for the future that tomorrow should not be as gloomy and sad as yesterday” – ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC

Mr. Khan then signed his oath before the ICC Registrar, Mr. Peter Lewis, and made his first remarks as ICC Prosecutor.

“The architecture of the Rome Statute is a promise for the future that tomorrow should not be as gloomy and gloomy as yesterday,” said Prosecutor Khan. “I am truly and sincerely touched by the opportunity to serve and the responsibilities entrusted to me. I will do my best to discharge these responsibilities without fear or favor, faithfully and with integrity, and in full accordance with the solemn declaration I have just given, ”he added.

As Radio Dabanga reported earlier, in her farewell statement yesterday, outgoing ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda celebrated the court’s achievements so far, but warned that there are still many work to do. In his farewell statement issued to coincide with the culmination of his nine-year term which officially ended yesterday, Bensouda hailed the establishment of the ICC as “one of humanity’s proudest moments … because that it represents a revival rooted in great human suffering through the ages, culminating in the recognition that wars and conflicts without law must no longer be allowed, without consequence, to cause human carnage. “

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve and to take this journey with all of you… We have come a long way together, but we have miles to go before we sleep.”



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