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2 Africans on shortlist to lead ICC

26 October 2011, 12:23

New York - Two Africans are on a shortlist of four candidates to replace Luis Moreno-Ocampo as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the top war crimes tribunal, the selection panel said on Tuesday.

Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian and current deputy prosecutor at the ICC, is considered one of the favourites for the post, according to diplomats.

Mohamed Chande Othman, chief justice of Tanzania, also is on the list, released by the Assembly of States Parties which oversees the ICC.

The other two candidates are Andrew Cayley, co-prosecutor in the Cambodian special court handling Khmer Rouge trials, a Briton, and Robert Petit, the Canadian Justice Department's top specialist on war crimes.

With so much of the ICC work focused on Africa, there is mounting international pressure for an African to become the public face of the court's work.

The ICC has Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on its wanted list for genocide in Darfur. Senior Kenyan officials are also wanted while a warrant had also been issued for Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed last week.

Bensouda was previously a senior legal advisor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and attorney general and justice minister in The Gambia.

Othman has also served on the international court on the Rwanda genocide and served on international inquiries.

The election for the prosecutor is to be held at the UN headquarters in December and the successful candidate will take over from the outspoken Moreno-Ocampo in June next year.



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