Tag Archives: Witnesses
International criminal trials are often contentious in the countries where the alleged crimes took place, and participation in them can place witnesses at risk. Where the risk to a witness is particularly severe, it may not be possible for that … Read more
28 October 2013
ICC, © http://www.denhaag.nl/
In October 2012 and January of this year the SHARES blog posted about the situation of Congolese witnesses detained at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Their detention continues, and while the resolution of their legal status is one step closer, it is also as illusive as ever, due to a decision of the Amsterdam District Court.
A detailed background to the situation can be found here, but can be briefly summarised as follows. Four individuals, detained in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on charges relating to the on going armed conflict in the country, were transferred to the ICC detention unit in May 2011 in order to give evidence as witnesses. (more…)
15 October 2013
The District Court of Amsterdam held yesterday, on 14 October 2013, that three witnesses detained at the International Criminal Court since May 2011 are not eligible for asylum in the Netherlands. They are suspected of involvement in crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and as such can be excluded from asylum under Article 1F of the Refugee Convention. Despite this, the Court held that the witnesses could not be returned to the DRC as there is a real risk that they will be detained, subjected to an unfair trial, and possibly given the death penalty. As such, the Court held that to return the witnesses would be contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights, in particular Article 6.
Source: De Rechtspraak | Court forbids deportation of Congolese witnesses
24 January 2013
In October 2012, the SHARES Blog carried a post that discussed a September Dutch Court decision concerning the on-going asylum situation at the ICC. Since then there are have been two important developments: the matter has been taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the original Dutch decision has been overturned on appeal. (more…)
21 January 2013
On 17 December 2012, the Court of Appeal of The Hague decided that three Congolese witnesses who had testified before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and who were still being detained in the ICC Detention Centre in the Hague, were not within the jurisdiction of the Netherlands in the sense of Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The three witnesses had applied for asylum in the Netherlands. However, the Court held that the Netherlands was not obliged to take over the witnesses from the ICC. The Court followed the judgment of the ECtHR in the case Djokaba Lambi Longa v. The Netherlands (8 October 2012, application no. 33917/12).
Source: Gerechtshof 's-Gravenhage | Judgment, 18 December 2012 | LJN: BY6075 | 200.114.941/01 (in Dutch)