Kenya: ICC staff linked to former Prosecutor face probe over indecent contact

Nairobi, Kenya  (PANA) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has denied having formal relations with the immediate former Chief Prosecutor of the Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, who has been accused of having contacts with persons suspected of complicity in war crimes.

In response to the publication of a damning report on the off-shore financial dealings of the former Prosecutor, the ICC said at the time of his service to the Court, there were no requirements for the financial disclosures.

Ocampo was linked to shell companies and financial dealings through companies registered in tax havens based in Uruguay in an apparent effort to conceal wealth.

“The Court was not aware of any of the his private financial arrangements while he served as Prosecutor,” the ICC said in a statement Thursday.

The ICC  said new financial and asset disclosure rules for senior staff and management were introduced in 2015 after the departure of the former Prosecutor.

Documents revealed by a coalition of media partners, including a German newspaper, Der Spiegel, the European Investigative Collaborative and the French investigative website, Mediapart, also link the former Prosecutor to an indecent contact to a Libyan business magnet thought to be on the ICC war crimes investigation radar.

According to the papers, the former Prosecutor entered into an agreement with Hassan Tatanaki, a Libyan oil billionaire, to evade a war crimes investigation when the Court was tasked with investigating war crimes.

The papers claimed at least US $3 million was to be paid to the former Prosecutor as an advisor to the Libyan oil business magnet.

The investigative coalition have alleged the agreement was meant to shield the businessman from war crimes investigation while targeting his business rivals. In the papers, some ICC staff were co-opted as advisers and were to mount campaigns to favour the Libyan business magnet.

In response to revelations of the former Chief Prosecutor’s contacts with persons whose dealings could be of interest to the ICC, current Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said The Hague-based Court had no formal work relations with the former Prosecutor.

She said an investigation has already been launched into the conduct of staff who collaborated with the former Prosecutor.

Bensouda said the Independent Oversight Mechanism  (IOM) has decided the matter should immediately proceed to full probe.

“As per IOM standards and procedures, the allegations will be assessed objectively and impartially with full respect for due process and fair treatment of the staff members concerned,” Bensouda said in a statement.

“As this matter unfolds and the allegations are fairly and properly scrutinised, speculation should not be entertained. Rather, the procedures and processes in place aimed at establishing the facts must be respected, with full cooperation with the investigation, as required.”

Bensouda said her Office has already stated, in response to media queries, that it has not initiated contact, sought advice or collaborated with Mr Ocampo, in relation to any of the situations or cases being handled by the Office or the Court since she assumed office as Prosecutor.

“I have, in the past, personally made my position on this clear to Mr Ocampo and have asked him, in unequivocal terms, to refrain from any public pronouncement or activity that may, by virtue of his prior role as ICC Prosecutor, be perceived to interfere with the activities of the Office or harm its reputation,” the Prosecutor said.

During Ocampo’s tenure, several African leaders were indicted by the Court. They include former Congolese Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba, Sudanese President Hassan Omar El-Bashir and former deputy Prime Minister and later President Uhuru Kenyatta.

-0- PANA AO/AR 6Oct 2017

06 october 2017 19:34:15

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