Presenting a new four-pronged investigative strategy to the Security Council on Thursday, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) pledged to bring justice for crimes committed in Libya.
“This situation can’t be a never ending storysaid Karim Khan, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. “Justice delayed is not always justice denied, but justice that can always be obtained.”
Prosecutor #KarimAAKhanQC describes its renewed strategy in the #Libya situation: “Our new approach prioritizes the voices of survivors. To do that, we need to get closer to them. We can’t conduct investigations, we can’t build trust, while working remotely from people concerned” pic.twitter.com/CLxgHMs4zh
— International Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) April 28, 2022
In his key role as prosecutor for less than a year, Mr. Khan has to deal with multiple alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as three outstanding arrest warrants, amid a politically divided nation that continues to suffer from widespread impunity. , stemming from the overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Tripoli’s internationally recognized government is still at odds with a rival administration and parliamentary authority in the east, while a ‘growing crackdown’ on civil society is having a ‘chilling effect on human rights defenders’. man,” according to the UN human rights office. , OHCHR, in a report released last month.
Presenting the 23rd report on the Libyan case, Khan said survivors and families of victims are waiting for justice, and the report for the first time contains benchmarks to help move cases forward.
“Our new approach prioritizes the voices of survivors,” he said. “To do this, we must get closer to them. We can’t conduct investigations, we can’t build trust, while working remotely from the people involved.”
He said that the first pillar of the new approach is to prioritize referrals made by the Boardallocating additional resources and focusing on improving financial investigations, as well as building capacity to investigate sexual and gender-based crimes.
To speed up investigations, his team is also harnessing the power of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to support the transcription and translation of documentary, video and audio files into the Arabic language.
The second is a commitment to empower witnesses and survivors to participate in the work of the Office. The Hague, where the Court sits, is far from Libya. It is not possible to build meaningful relationships with victims by engaging at a distance. It is vital to work hand in hand with affected communities, he told the ambassadors.
More on-site investigation
“We need to be more on the groundhe said, adding that the Office is in the process of establishing a strengthened presence in the field.
The third is to strengthen engagement with the Libyan authorities, focusing on supporting national accountability efforts based on the principle of complementarity.
Where national authorities can initiate genuine proceedings, his Office should be there to support them, he said.
Focus on justice
But, if the Libyan authorities prove unable to investigate or prosecute crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, his Office will continue its work. He said he would visit Libya during the next reporting period to deepen the Court’s relationship with the Libyan authorities.
The fourth new approach, he said, is to increase opportunities for accountability by strengthening cooperation with third states, international and regional organizations.
He said that he did not want his Office to be just a beneficiary of the cooperation of the competent national authorities, but a positive contributor to national accountability processes. This must be “a two-way street”, insisted the ICC Prosecutor.