ICC judges to hold closed talks on Rohingya crisis

MNA Exclusive Desk: War crimes judges will hold closed-door talks next month to discuss whether to allow the launch of a probe into the forced exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, reported news agency.

Only chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will appear before the three judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) hearing on 20 June, presiding judge Peter Kovacs said in his Friday order.

In an unprecedented move last month, Bensouda asked judges at the world’s only permanent war crimes court to rule whether she can investigate the deportations as a crime against humanity.

It is a legally complicated request, as Myanmar is not a signatory and member of the Rome Statute which underpins the ICC.

Bangladesh is, however, and Bensouda argued that should give her office jurisdiction to investigate the Rohingya’s plight.

She likened deportation to “a cross-border shooting”, arguing the crime “is not completed until the bullet (fired in one state) strikes and kills the victim (standing in another state)”.

Set up in 2002 in The Hague, the ICC acts to prosecute the worst abuses including genocide in places where national tribunals are unwilling or unable to act.