Dec 14 2006 UN Press Release (via Scoop) - ICC Prosecutor: First Darfur Cases Almost Ready
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the Security Council today that he is almost ready to bring cases about some of the worst war crimes committed in the Sudanese region of Darfur during the past three years.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he will submit evidence to ICC judges by February at the latest and, ahead of that step, he is now introducing measures to protect victims and witnesses.
According to the text of his statement to the closed-door Council meeting, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said that his first case will focus on a series of incidents in 2003 and 2004, when conflict emerged in Darfur as Government forces and allied militia clashes with rebel groups seeking greater autonomy.
"The evidence provides reasonable grounds to believe that the individuals identified have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the crimes of persecution, torture, murder and rape, during a period in which the gravest crimes occurred in Darfur," he said.
In a press statement released following his briefing, the Prosecutor said "perhaps most significant, the evidence reveals the underlying operational system that enabled the commission of these massive crimes."