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British lawyer elected ICC’s new prosecutor


February 13, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, a British lawyer has been elected on Friday as the new prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a nine-year term starting on June 16.

Karim Khan briefs the UN Security Council on ISIS crimes in Irak on December 04, 2018 (UN photo)The new ICC prosecutor will replace the Gambian Fatou Bensouda who was the first prosecutor to visit Sudan last October seeking Sudanese government’s cooperation over Darfur war crimes.

Khan is the first prosecutor to be elected by secret ballot in the history of the court, on the second round of voting. The two first prosecutors, Ocampo and Bensouda were designated by consensus. The other candidates were from Spain, Ireland and Italy.

The British lawyer and international criminal law and human rights specialist Karim Khan has been a defence lawyer in several ICC cases, including for late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam and Kenyan vice-president, William Ruto when he was indicted following post-election violence in 2007.

Also, he led a UN Investigative Team probing ISIL atrocities in Iraq to probe into the ISIS group’s crimes.

The new prosecutor will have to investigate the war crimes in Afghanistan and the crimes in the Israel-Palestinian conflict in Gaza in 2014.

The ICC first prosecutor focused on Africa, while Bensouda sought to increase the legitimacy of the war crimes court and to extend it to other continents.

With his 25-year experience, the British lawyer has to explore new horizons to strengthen the legitimacy of the ICC and to properly manage unresolved cases such as Darfur war crimes.


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