Monday, July 21, 2008

Prosecuting International Criminals

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. the ICC pursues international criminals to the ends of the earth and until the ends of their lives.

Some surrender. Some are captured. Some are prosecuted. Some are convicted. Some are imprisoned. Some die in confinement. Carla Del Ponte, former Chief Prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals, takes the pragmatic view:
We're interested in results. I don't care how they come here as long as I get them.
Today, the Serb, Radovan Karadzic, was captured. His boss, Slobodan Milosevic, died in prison. But his buddy, General Ratko Mladic, is still at large.

An arrest warrant against Sudan’s El-Bashir has been sworn out. His Sudanese regime has been accused of complicity in the unfolding crimes against humanity in Darfur, particularly for either arming or failing to punish the militia group which calls itself Janjaweed–roughly translated to mean devils on horse backs.

Congolese militia leaders
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo and Thomas Lubanga have also been charged.

The tribunal is going through a period of unparalleled success in getting its hands on indictees, many of whom have been on the run for years. Judge Theodor Meron, president of the tribunal, said in a letter to the UN security council,
This is without doubt the most active and productive period in the life of the tribunal thus far, a period full of challenges, stresses and strains.
A year ago the tribunal's wanted list of fugitives ran to 21 men. As of the capture of Karadzic it has shrunk to 10.

It appears that no country is up to investigating, indicting, arresting, trying, convicting, and imprisoning its own nationals as war criminals.

Otherwise, what a wonderful world it would be.