Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Acquittals in International Criminal Justice: Pyrrhic Victories?

  • JORIS VAN WIJK and BARBORA HOLÁ

Abstract

Despite the great body of academic research on international criminal justice, little attention has been given to the situation of those who have been acquitted. This article aims to fill this gap by offering an empirical overview of what happens to persons acquitted by the ICTY, ICTR, and the ICC. Rather than providing an in-depth legal analysis, the article emphasizes the challenges acquitted persons encounter. It discusses in particular: (1) to what extent and why some acquitted individuals are barred from residing in the country of their preference; (2) whether and why they are facing subsequent prosecution; and (3) what obstacles there are for acquitted persons seeking to obtain compensation for the lengthy periods spent in detention. Although similar problems may be experienced by individuals who have been acquitted for conventional crimes in domestic systems, the authors argue that persons acquitted by international criminal tribunals are relatively more susceptible to post-acquittal challenges because of the unique nature of the alleged crimes and the institutional context in which international criminal trials take place. The authors conclude that there are no easy solutions, and that some of the problems identified are inherent to the system of international criminal justice.

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 See BBC Hardtalk, Judge Theodor Meron, 16 March 2013, www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rmcl1 (accessed 13 April 2015).

2 Henry, B., ‘The Acquitted Accused, a Forgotten Party of the ICTR’, (2005) 12 New England Journal of International & Comparative Law 81 .

3 Legal Information Institute Legal Dictionary, Cornell University Law School, www.law.cornell.edu/wex/acquittal (accessed 13 April 2015).

4 The Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Judgment pursuant to article 74 of the Statute, ICC-01/04-02/12, T.Ch. II, 18 December 2012, para. 36.

5 We thank Maaike Zeeuw for allowing us to use the results of the interviews taken in the context of her Master Thesis: M. Zeeuw, ‘Acquitted but not Free; On the Limitations Defendants Face When Acquitted by the International Criminal Courts and Tribunals’, Master Thesis VU University Amsterdam, 19 April 2014. The interviews were conducted between June 2013 and December 2014 and had a semi-structured character.

6 The functions of the ICTY and ICTR have been taken over by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT). Since the closing of the ICTR in December 2015, the MICT has been carrying out all of its functions. The ICTY is still functional but some of its tasks, including the enforcement of sentences or appeals hearings, have already been transferred to the MICT.

7 This means that the article does not discuss the situation of individuals whose charges were not confirmed or were vacated. Nor does it touch upon the situation of defendants who have been only partially acquitted.

8 On 31 March 2016 the ICTY Trial Chamber, by majority, acquitted Vojislav Šešelj of all charges. However, as the prosecution is appealing this judgment at the MICT, the Šešelj case is not included in our analysis. See Prosecutor v. Vojislav Šešelj, Judgement, Case No. IT-03-67-T, T.Ch. III, 31 March 2016. Besides the ICTY, ICTR and the ICC, acquittals have been relatively rare at the ICTs. Although the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg acquitted three individuals, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) have not acquitted any.

9 R. Williams, ‘The Fog of War Crimes Prosecution; the ICTY Appeals Chamber Acquits Perišić’, TerraNullius, 1 March 2013, available at www.terra0nullius.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-fog-of-war-crimes-prosecution-the-icty-appeals-chamber-acquits-perisic/ (accessed 15 June 2015).

10 See, e.g., in this respect Clark, J.N., ‘Courting Controversy: The ICTY's Acquittal of Croatian Generals Gotovina and Markač’, (2013) 11 (2) Journal of International Criminal Justice 418 .

11 J. Ivanović, ‘Croatia: Backing “Homeland War” Generals’, Balkan Insight, 23 December 2013, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/croatia-backing-homeland-war-generals (accessed 15 June 2015).

12 B. Pavelić, ‘Croatian Generals Greeted with Hero's Welcome’, Balkan Insight, 16 November 2012, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/croatian-generals-greeted-with-hero-s-welcome (accessed 6 April 2016).

13 J. Hopkin, ‘Croatia Starts to Hope Again, as a “War Crime” Stigma is Lifted’, The Guardian, 20 November 2012, available at www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/20/croatia-war-crime-stigma-lifted (accessed 15 June 2015).

14 L. Radonić, ‘The Acquittal of the Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač’, Imre Kertész, available at www.imre-kertesz-kolleg.uni-jena.de/?id=455&l=1 (accessed 15 June 2015). Headlines by international media at time takes the same perspective. After the acquittals of Gotovina and Markač, a British newspaper The Guardian featured an article by I. Traynor with the following headline: ‘Croatia's “War Crime” is no Longer a Crime after UN Tribunal Verdict; Successful Appeal in The Hague Exonerates 1990s Regime of Franco Tudjman and has a Huge Significance for International Law’, 16 November 2012, available at www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/16/croatia-war-crime-analysis (accessed 15 June 2015).

15 ‘Ante Gotovina: One Year of Freedom’, Croatiaweek, 16 November 2013, available at www.croatiaweek.com/ante-gotovina-one-year-of-freedom/ (accessed 15 June 2015).

16 ‘Ivan Čermak’, Vecernji List, available at www.vecernji.hr/biografije/ivan-cermak-58 (accessed 15 June 2015). Less is known about the reintegration of Croat Mladen Markač. He himself did not foresee many problems. However, when receiving an honorary citizenship in 2012, he stated that he had no interest in politics, but that he would like to engage in humanitarian work, writing, hunting, and further dissemination of the truth about the Homeland War. See D. Derk, ‘Gotovina Ekstremnoj Desnici: Ja Sam Slobodan Čovjek i Tako Mislim’, Vecernji List, 5 December 2012, available at www.vecernji.hr/hrvatska/gotovina-ekstremnoj-desnici-ja-sam-slobodan-covjek-i-tako-mislim-483329 (accessed 15 June 2015).

17 Arriving in a government plane he was greeted by the Prime Minister and thousands of people. The Macedonian government stated it would provide him with moral and financial support. He resumed his political career but was later convicted for illegally financing his campaign and a murder plot. See ‘Acquitted Macedonia Minister Arrives Home’, Balkan Insight, 11 July 2008, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/acquitted-macedonia-minister-arrives-home; ‘Hero's Welcome for Freed Macedonia Minister’, Balkan Insight, 11 July 2008, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/hero-s-welcome-for-freed-macedonia-minister; and S. Dimovski, ‘Macedonia Jails Ex-Police Minister for 12 Years’, Balkan Insight, 15 July 2013, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/former-macedonian-former-police-minister-jailed-for-murder (all accessed 15 June 2015).

18 Politicians and fans welcomed him at the airport. He received an award from a Bosnian veteran organization and up to this day is a well-known politician running the Bosnian Rights Party (BSP). See the documentary by E. Lonić, ‘Generali: Sefer Halilovic7/7’, 18 May 2013, available at www.dailymotion.com/video/x1002om_generali-sefer-halilovic-7-7_news, at 46:00–50:00; N. Latić, ‘Priznanje Sefera Halilovića Za Suradnju Sa Kos-Om’, Bošnjaci net, 16 November 2013, available at www.bosnjaci.net/prilog.php?pid=50635; ‘Sefer Halilović za Predsjednika BiH’, BPS, available at bps.ba/?mod=bps-vijest-015; www.bps-seferhalilovic.ba/ (all accessed 15 June 2015).

19 Haradinaj was picked up by a Kosovo government plane, greeted by the Prime Minister and cheered by large crowds. He returned to politics. See M. Simons, ‘War Crimes Court Frees Former Leader of Kosovo’, New York Times, 29 November 2012, available at www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/world/europe/un-court-frees-former-leader-of-kosovo.html?_r=0 (accessed 15 June 2015).

20 C. Leviev-Sawyer, ‘Former Serbian President Acquitted of War Crimes Returns Home’, The Sofia Echo, 28 February 2009, available at sofiaecho.com/2009/02/28/682911_former-serbian-president-acquitted-of-war-crimes-returns- (accessed 15 June 2015).

21 D.M., ‘Milutinović triput nedeljno do posla’, Novosti, 14 April 2011, available at www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/politika/aktuelno.289.html:327111-Milutinovic-triput-nedeljno-do-posla (accessed 15 June 2015).

22 M. Ristić, ‘Freed Yugoslav General Perišić Arrives in Serbia’, Balkan Insight, 1 March 2013, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/persic-arives-to-belgrade (accessed 15 June 2015).

23 ‘Nomine e Trasferimenti nel Clero Diocesano’, Diocese of Vicenza, July 2015, available at www.vicenza.chiesacattolica.it/pls/vicenza/v3_s2ew_consultazione.mostra_pagina?id_pagina=3096 (accessed 15 June 2015). Other acquitted individuals who did not seem to have serious problems with their reintegration are, for example, André Rwamakuba, Ignace Bagilishema, and Emmanuel Bagambiki. However, compared to Nsengimana, their relocation to a country willing to host them turned out to be more challenging (see Section 3).

24 ‘Dragan Papić’, Trial International, 2 June 2016, available at trialinternational.org/latest-post/dragan-papic/ (accessed 3 May 2016).

25 J. Žarko, ‘POTEZ OČAJNIKA Dragan Papić: Pomozite mi ili ću i ja, kao Grgić, s bombama na cisternu!’, Slobodna Dalmacija, 13 November 2010, available at www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Hrvatska/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/121256/Default.aspx (accessed 15 June 2015).

26 Cf. Bougarel, X., ‘The Shadow of Heroes: Former Combatants in Post-War Bosnia-Herzegovina’, (2006) 58 (189) International Social Science Journal 479, at 484–5.

27 Michels, J.D., ‘Compensating Acquitted Defendants for Detention before International Criminal Courts’, (2010) 8 (2) Journal of International Criminal Justice 407, at 408.

28 According to the Sarajevo-based Center for Investigative Reporting ‘Bosniak neighbors in Vitez remember those years he spent in a cell . . . and see the 41-year-old Bosnian Croat still as a war criminal; one who had a good lawyer’. See Center for Investigative Reporting, ‘Defense and Prosecution: A Tale of Two Sides’, available at www.cin.ba/en/na-razlicitim-stranama-istog-zlocina/ (accessed 15 June 2015).

29 G. Otašević ‘Miroslav Radić sues Serbia’, Politika, 2 November 2008, available at www.politika.rs/rubrike/Drustvo/Miroslav-Radic-tuzi-Srbiju.lt.html (accessed 15 June 2015).

30 Fena, ‘Sefer Halilović podnio tužbu protiv Nebojše Radmanovića’ ABC Portal, 14 Feburary 2013, available at www.abcportal.info/clanak/sefer-halilovic-podnio-tuzbu-protiv-nebojse-radmanovica (accessed 15 June 2015).

31 In 2008, the ICTR Appeals Chamber confirmed that the Registrar is responsible for the necessary diplomatic, logistical, and physical arrangements for release after an acquittal, ‘taking into consideration, to the extent possible and as appropriate, the requests of the acquitted person’. See Prosecutor v. André Ntagerura, Decision on Motion to Appeal the President's Decision of 3l March 2008 and the Decision of Trial Chamber III of 15 May 2008, Case No. ICTR-99-46-A28, A.Ch., 18 November 2008, paras. 14–15.

32 For more information, see, e.g., Heller, K.J., ‘What Happens to the Acquitted?’ (2008) 21 (3) LJIL 663 ; and van Wijk, J., ‘When International Criminal Justice Collides with Principles of International Protection: Assessing the Consequences of ICC Witnesses Seeking Asylum, Defendants Being Acquitted, and Convicted Being Released’, (2013) 26 (1) LJIL 173 .

33 The ICTR attached conditions to release which included that two persons of high moral standing were to guarantee that he would turn up in court again. Bagilishema furthermore had to hand in his passport and report regularly to the police. See ‘France Confirms it will take Acquitted Rwandan Mayor’, Hirondelle News Agency, 20 September 2001, available at www.hirondellenews.com/ictr-rwanda/351-acquittals/bagilishema-ignace/18070-en-en-france-confirms-it-will-take-acquitted-rwandan-mayor7121712 (accessed 15 April 2015). France eventually continued to host him after the acquittal was confirmed in 2002.

34 Judge T. Meron, Letter Dated 17 November 2015 from the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN Doc. S/2015/883 (2015), at 9, para. 50. Eight acquitted persons are sharing the safe house, together with three individuals who were released by the ICTR/MICT after serving their sentences.

35 Bicamumpaka et al., ‘Memorandum to the UN Security Council; SOS for urgent relocation to third countries of ICTR acquitted persons and convicted persons having completed their sentences’, 22 February 2013. This 42-page document, which was signed by ten safe house residents, informed the UN about their situation and called for action. Memorandum is on file with the authors.

36 Judge V. Joensen, Letter Dated 17 November 2015 from the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN Doc. S/2015/884 (2015), at 21, para. 90.

37 As noted, supra note 6, the MICT is now administering the duties of the ICTR after its closure. As our interviews were conducted with representatives of the ICTR, in the text we only refer to the ICTR. The discussion is, however, mutatis mutandis applicable to the MICT.

38 For instance, the ICTR Registrar asked for assistance from the United Nations Security Council, which resulted in at least three resolutions requesting member states to host the acquitted persons on their territories: UN Security Council Resolution 2029, UN Doc. S/RES/2029 (2011), at 2, para. 5; UN Security Council Resolution 2054, UN Doc. S/RES/2054 (2012), at 2, para. 6; and UN Security Council Resolution 2080, UN Doc. S/RES/2080 (2012), at 2, para. 4. See also supra note 36, at 21, paras. 90 and 151; or supra note 34, at 9, paras. 50 and 51.

39 Prosecutor v. André Ntagerura, Decision on Motion to Appeal the President's Decision of 31 March 2008 and the Decision of Trial Chamber III of 15 May 2008, Case No. lCTR-99-46-A28, A.Ch., 18 November 2008, at 6, para. 15, available at www.unmict.org/sites/default/files/acclrt/full-text-dec/2008/Ntagerura%20Decision%20on%20Relocation.pdf (accessed 7 November 2016)

40 See the documentary by D. Alamouti, ‘No man's land’ (Trailer), 6:50–7:10, available at vimeo.com/96845902 (accessed 17 June 2015).

41 See Heller, supra note 32, at 669–71.

42 Art. 1(f) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 189 UNTS 150.

43 A 2011 expert meeting concluded that an ICTR indictment can no longer be relied upon to exclude a person who is acquitted on substantive grounds, but states have not acted in accordance with this conclusion. Given the fact that many of the acquitted persons occupied high-ranking positions and could, in theory, be indicted for a much broader array of crimes, the scope of their alleged criminal activities can often be considered as going beyond crimes they were acquitted of by the ICTs. See UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Expert Meeting on Complementarities between International Refugee Law, International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law: Summary Conclusions, (2011), at 7, para. 41, available at www.refworld.org/docid/4e1729d52.html (accessed 15 April 2015).

44 Memorandum, supra note 35.

45 ‘ICTR/France - Gratien Kabiligi Should be Granted a French Visa’, Hirondelle News Agency, 9 June 2011, available at www.hirondellenews.com/ictr-rwanda/406-collaboration-with-states/collaboration-with-states-france/25211-en-en-090611-ictrfrance-gratien-kabiligi-should-be-granted-a-french-visa1426214262 (accessed 15 April 2015).

46 Representative ICTR (E2), Zeeuw, supra note 5, at 16.

47 UN Meetings Coverage and Press Releases SC11/031, UN Security Council meeting No. 6977, ‘Hague Branch of Global Mechanism to Assume Former Yugoslavia Tribunal Functions, Security Council Told’, (2013), available at www.un.org/press/en/2013/sc11031.doc.htm (accessed 7 November 2016).

48 See, e.g., ‘ICTR/Belgium - Emmanuel Bagambiki May Achieve Family Reunion in Belgium’, Hirondelle News Agency, 1 July 2007, available at www.hirondellenews.com/ictr-rwanda/408-collaboration-with-states/collaboration-with-states-other-countries/20580-en-en-010707-ictrbelgium-emmanuel-bagambiki-may-achieve-family-reunion-in-belgium96319631 (accessed 15 April 2015).

49 Ntagerura, supra note 39, at 6, paras. 14–15.

50 R. Amoussouga, ‘The ICTR's Challenges in the Relocation of Acquitted Persons, Released Prisoners and Protected Witnesses’, Roundtable on Cooperation between the International Criminal Tribunals and National Prosecuting Authorities, Arusha, 26–28 November 2008, at 8.

51 Van Wijk, supra note 32.

52 Zeeuw, supra note 5.

53 Representative ICTR (E2), Zeeuw, supra note 5, at 18.

54 Ibid., at 18.

55 Memorandum, supra note 35, at 39.

56 Zeeuw, supra note 5, at 14.

57 Representative ICTR (E2), Zeeuw, supra note 5, at 19.

58 Memorandum, supra note 35.

59 Ahorugeze v. Sweden, Application No. 37075/09, Judgment of 27 October 2011, ECHR, paras. 113–29.

60 Three ICTR cases of Jean-Bosco Uwikindi (ICTR-01-75), Bernard Munyagishari (ICTR-05-89) and Ladislas Ntaganzwa (ICTR-96-9) and five fugitive cases were transferred to Rwanda. On 31 December 2015 Uwikindi was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court in Kigali acting as a first instance court. The proceedings against Munyagishari and Ntaganzwa are ongoing and monitored for adherence to fair trial standards by MICT monitors. For discussion on extradition, see also Bolhuis, M.P., Middelkoop, L., and van Wijk, J., ‘Refugee Exclusion and Extradition in the Netherlands: Rwanda as Precedent?’ (2014) 12 (5) JICJ 1115 . It should, however, be mentioned that recently the tide of successful extradition requests by Rwanda has started turning as a Dutch court rejected extradition to Rwanda mainly due to the fact that the accused would arguably not receive an effective defence. See The Government of the Republic of Rwanda v. Jean-Baptiste Mugimba and Jean-Claude Iyamuremye, Rechtbank Den Haag [27 November 2015] C/09/494083/KG ZA 15/1205. A similar decision was reached by the Westminster Magistrates Court in the UK in December 2015. See The Government of the Republic of Rwanda v. Vincent Brown (aka Vincent Bajinya), Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja and Celestin Mutabaruka, Westminster Magistrates Court, 22 December 2015. Concerns over effective defence were periodically raised with regard to cases transferred from the ICTR. In the course of the proceedings, Munyagishari filed three requests with the MICT to revoke an order to transfer the case to Rwanda noting, in particular, problems with having his defence funded. In the decision dismissing the request, President Meron expressed his concern with ‘the long delay in concluding an agreement on remuneration of Mr. Munyagishari's counsel’ and noted that ‘should such a delay continue for a significant period, it could give rise to fair trial concerns’. See Prosecutor v. Bernard Munyagishari, Decision on Third Request for Revocation of an Order Referring a Case to the Republic of Rwanda, Case No. MICT-12-20, The President of the Mechanism, 8 April 2015, at 4.

61 Soering v. United Kingdom, Application No. 14038/88, Judgment of 7 July 1989, paras. 88, 113.

62 ‘Response of the ICTR acquitted persons and persons released after serving their sentences to a suggestion to return to Rwanda made by the ICTR Registrar during a meeting at the ICTR Headquarters on 17 April 2014’, Letter by the ICTR acquitted persons and the ICTR persons released after serving their sentence, Arusha, 30 April 2014 (on file with the authors).

63 See Ngudjolo Chui case, supra note 4.

64 J. Easterday, ‘Ngudjolo Released from Dutch Immigration Detention’, International Justice Monitor, 5 June 2013, available at www.katangatrial.org/2013/06/ngudjolo-released-from-dutch-immigration-detention/ (accessed 15 April 2015).

65 Rechtbank Den Haag [15 August 2014] ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2014:10289.

66 Raad van State, 201405219/1/V1, 15 October 2014. See also Den Haag, zittingsplaats Amsterdam, 13/16949, 28 May 2014.

67 Lingsma, T., ‘Acquitted by the ICC, but Still Not Free’, (2014) 156 International Justice Tribune 4 .

68 Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Judgment on the Prosecutor's appeal against the decision of Trial Chamber II entitled ‘Judgment pursuant to article 74 of the Statute’, ICC-01/04-02/12, A Ch., 27 February 2015.

69 B. Dürr, ‘Q&A: Life Locked up at the International Criminal Court’, Al Jazeera, 8 June 2015, available at www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/06/qa-life-locked-international-criminal-court-150608063005458.html (accessed 2 May 2016).

70 For example, Gratien Kabiligi claims to be the subject of allegations and defamatory claims by the newspaper News of Rwanda, which has strong links to Rwandan government. This arguably undermines his already slim chances of finding a host country. See M. Kersten, ‘Acquitted by Law, Prosecuted by Propaganda’, Justice in Conflict blog, 31 March 2014, available at justiceinconflict.org/2014/03/31/acquitted-by-law-prosecuted-by-propaganda/ (accessed 15 April 2015).

71 In 2008 Rwanda issued an extradition request, which as far as we know has not been executed. See ‘Belgium investigates acquitted ex-Rwandan governor Bagambiki’, Hirondelle News Agency, 3 June 2008, available at www.hirondellenews.com/ictr-rwanda/352-acquittals/bagambiki-emmanuel/21992-en-en-030608-belgiumrwanda-belgium-investigates-acquitted-ex-rwandan-governor-bagambiki1104311043 (accessed 15 April 2015).

72 ‘Croatia Charges Serb Whom UN Court Freed’, Agence France Presse, 27 November 2007, available at listserv.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=JUSTWATCH-L;53aa9fb9.0711 (accessed 15 April 2015).

73 M. Ristić and D. Džidić, ‘Serbia Probes Bosnian Army Commander Naser Orić’, Balkan Insight, 29 January 2014, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/serbia-investigates-bosniak-commander-naser-oric (accessed 15 April 2015).

75 See The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ‘S1 1 K 014977 15 Kri- Naser Orić and others’, available at www.sudbih.gov.ba/predmet/3473/show (accessed 2 May 2016).

76 ‘Fatmir Limaj’, Trial International, available at trialinternational.org/latest-post/fatmir-limaj/ (accessed 22 November 2016).

77 In May 2012 the EULEX Court acquitted Fatmir Limaj on all charges. This verdict was annulled by Kosovo's Supreme Court in November 2012, while the retrial, again, resulted in an acquittal in September 2013. See ‘Defendants in Klecka Case Acquitted’, EULEX Press Release, 17 September 2013, available at www.eulex-kosovo.eu/en/pressreleases/0485.php (accessed 15 April 2015).

78 Prosecutor v. Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Bramihaj, Judgement, Case No. IT-04-84bis-T, T.Ch. II, 29 November 2012.

79 U. Hajdari, ‘Slovenia “Will Not Extradite” Kosovo Ex-PM to Serbia’, Balkan Insight, 19 June 2015, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/haradinaj-will-not-be-extradited-to-serbia-says-slovenian-minister (accessed 2 May 2016).

80 Law No. 05/L053 on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office, Assembly of Republic of Kosovo, adopted on 3 August 2015, available at www.kuvendikosoves.org/common/docs/ligjet/05-L-053%20a.pdf (accessed 2 May 2016). See also ‘Statement on the adoption of the constitutional amendments and the law by the Kosovo Assembly by Mr. David Schwendiman, Lead Prosecutor of the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF)’, Special Investigative Task Force, 4 August 2015, available at sitf.eu/index.php/en/press-r/49-statement-on-kosovo-assembly-approval-vote (accessed 14 December 2015).

81 Raad van State, supra note 66, para. 4.1.

82 Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Decision on the Evidence and Information Provided by the Prosecution for the Issuance of a Warrant Arrest for Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, ICC-01/04-01/07-262, T.Ch. II, 6 July 2007, para.18. This case too, resulted in an acquittal.

83 Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, Decision pursuant to Article 108(1) of the Rome Statute, ICC-01/04-01/07, The Presidency, 7 April 2016, para. 4.

84 D. Smith, ‘Rwanda Genocide Conviction Quashed Leaving Monsieur Z free’, The Guardian, 16 November 2009, available at www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/16/rwanda-genocide-conviction-quashed (accessed 15 April 2015).

85 ‘La Ville des acquittés du TPIR reste divisée’, Hirondelle, 10 February 2006, cited in Human Rights Watch ‘Law and Reality; Progress in Judicial Reform in Rwanda’ (2008) at 71.

86 See Art. 14(7) 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 999 UNTS 171 (ICCPR): ‘No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.’

87 Carter, L.E., ‘Complementarity and the International Criminal Court: The Role of Ne Bis in Idem’, (2010) 8 (1) Santa Clara Journal of International Law 165, at 169.

88 Ibid., at 165, 172.

89 Ibid., at 180–4.

90 Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, ICC-01/04-01/07, PTC I, 30 September 2008.

91 As noted above, in April 2016 the ICC ruled favourably on a request by the DRC pursuant to Art. 108(1) of the ICC Statute to approve prosecution of his former co-defendant Mr. Katanga. The ICC judges reiterated that subsequent domestic prosecutions will, in essence, be approved by the Court, unless fundamental principles or procedures of the Rome Statute, such as ne bis in idem, are undermined or the integrity of the Court is otherwise affected. The Congolese authorities reassured the Court that new charges relate ‘to crimes other than those for which he has been convicted and acquitted by the Court’ and do not include the Bogoro attack committed on 24 February 2003. See Katanga, supra note 83, paras. 20–5.

92 Prosecutor v. Naser Orić, Decision on Second Motion Regarding a Breach of Non Bis In Idem, MICT-14-79, Single Judge Decision of Judge Liu Daqun, 10 December 2015, para. 4.

93 Ibid., para. 9.

94 Ibid. para. 10. Similarly, in Katanga, supra note 83, para. 21, the defence advocated for a broader interpretation of the scope of the ne bis in idem principle by arguing that subsequent prosecutions can be allowed only with respect to ‘offences, which did not fall within the temporal and geographical ambit of the ICC investigation’.

95 Šimić, O., ‘Bringing “Justice” Home? Bosnians, War Criminals and the Interaction between the Cosmopolitan and the Local’, (2011) 12 (7) German Law Journal 1388, at 1392.

96 Ristić and Džidić, supra note 73.

97 ‘Serbia to prosecute Bosnian war hero Naser Oric’, World Bulletin, 31 January 2014, available at www.worldbulletin.net/news/127979/serbia-to-prosecute-bosnian-war-hero-naser-oric (accessed 15 April 2015).

98 Ristić and Džidić, supra note 73.

99 See ‘Public Opinion Poll: Attitudes towards War Crimes Issues, ICTY and the National Judiciary’, OSCE, Beogradski Centar za Ljudska Prava, October 2011, at 16.

100 Cf. D. Džidić, ‘Srebrenica Commander Naser Oric Charged with War Crimes’; Balkan Insight, 27 August 2015, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/srebrenica-commander-oric-charged-with-war-crimes-08-27-2015 (accessed 3 May 2016); D. Džidić, ‘Bosnian Serb Leader Slams Naser Oric Indictment’, Balkan Insight, 31 August 2015, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnian-serb-president-criticizes-naser-oric-s-indictment-08-31-2015 (accessed 3 May 2016); or D. Džidić, ‘Naser Oric Indictment Wins No Applause in Bosnia’, Balkan Insight, 4 September 2015, available at www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/naser-oric-charges-win-no-applause-in-bosnia-09-03-2015 (accessed 3 May 2016).

101 According to our estimate, at the ICTY, the average time spent in detention is almost five years (59 months) (minimum: 27 months, maximum: 104 months); at the ICTR, the period in custody doubles and amounts to almost ten years (117 months) (minimum: 31 months, maximum: 165 months). Ngudjolo, the only person acquitted by the ICC so far, spent around five years (58 months) in detention. The data are on file with authors.

102 Sznadjer, R., ‘Provisional Release at the ICTY: Rights of the Accused and the Debate that Amended a Rule’, (2013) 11 (3) Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 109, at 121

103 Acquitted individual (R1), Zeeuw, supra note 5, at 21.

104 See, e.g., Michels, supra note 27, 407–24; Naymark, D., ‘Violations of Rights of the Accused at International Criminal Tribunals: The Problem of Remedy’, (2008) 4 (2) Journal of International Law and International Relations 1 ; W.A. Schabas, The UN International Criminal Tribunals: The Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone (2006) 537–9; Beresford, S., ‘Redressing the Wrongs of the International Justice System: Compensating for Persons Erroneously Detained, Prosecuted, or Convicted by the Ad Hoc Tribunals’, (2002) 96 (3) American Journal of International Law 628 .

105 In 2000, the presidents of the ICTY and ICTR asked the UN Security Council to consider amending the Statutes to enable the Tribunals to award compensation, but this proposal was never followed up on. Schabas, ibid., at 537 in footnote 186.

106 W. Schabas, The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (2010) 968.

107 Trial Chamber II of the ICC declined Ngudjolo's request for compensation arguing that, ‘a grave and manifest miscarriage of justice’ requires a clear violation of fundamental rights and must have caused a serious prejudice to the applicant: ‘L'erreur doit avoir engendre une violation claire des droits fondamentaux du requerant et doit avoir cause un prejudice serieux au requerant.’ See Prosecutor v. Matthieu Ngudjolo Chui, Décision sur la Requête en indemnisation en application des dispositions de l'article 85 (1) et (3) du Statut de Rome, ICC-01/04-02/12-301, T.Ch. II, 16 December 2015, para. 45.

108 Beresford, supra note 104, at 644 in footnote 111.

109 Protais Zigiranyirazo v. Prosecutor, Decision on Protais Zigiranyirazo's motion for damages, Case No. ICTR-2001-01-073, T. Ch. III, 18 June 2012. See also Prosecutor v. Rwamakuba, Decision on Appropriate Remedy, ICTR-98-44C-T, T.Ch. III, 31 January 2007, para. 28. Rwamakuba was, however, awarded compensation of US$ 2,000 for the violation of his right to legal representation.

110 See Protais Zigiranyirazo case, supra note 109, para. 21.

111 A. Pavlović, ‘Srbi, ne predajte se!’, Novosti, 8 December 2004, available at www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/dosije/aktuelno.292.html:164580-Срби-не-предајте-се (accessed 15 April 2015).

112 J. Žarko, ‘Dragan Papić: Pomozite mi ili ću i ja, kao Grgić, s bombama na cisternu!’, Slobodna Dalmacija, 13 November 2010, available at www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Hrvatska/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/121256/Default.aspx (accessed 15 April 2015); V. Urukalo, ‘Dragan Papić: Sačić me otpremio u Haag, a danas je glavni buntovnik’, Slobodna Dalmacija, 17 April 2011, available at www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Hrvatska/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/135287/Default.aspx (accessed 15 April 2015).

113 Ibid.

114 See G. Otašević, supra note 29; ‘Serbia will not pay compensation to Radić’, Vaseljenska, 5 December 2011, available at www.vaseljenska.com/drustvo/srbija-nece-platiti-odstetu-radicu/ (accessed 2 May 2016).

115 Michels, supra note 27, at 416.

116 Ibid., at 421–2.

117 See, e.g., the discussion in response to Emma Irving's blog post. E. Irving, ‘Guest Post: The End of the Road for Ngudjolo and the Stacked Odds Against ICC Acquitted’, Opinio Juris, 15 May 2015, available at opiniojuris.org/2015/05/15/guest-post-the-end-of-the-road-for-ngudjolo-and-the-stacked-odds-against-icc-acquitted/ (accessed 15 June 2015).

118 Michels, supra note 27, at 423.

119 Ibid., at 423.

120 Ibid., at 424.

121 Keita, X.J., ‘Safeguarding Defence Rights at the ICC’, (2009) 3 Equality of Arms Review 16, at 17.

122 Report of the Bureau on Cooperation, ICC Assembly of State parties, ICC-ASP/14/26/Rev.1, Fourteenth Session, 17 November 2015, para. 20.

123 See Germain Katanga case, supra note 83.

* Both authors work as criminologists at VU University and are affiliated to the Center for International Criminal Justice (www.cicj.org) [], []. The authors thank Sofia Caviezel, Lucia Slot and Maria Torrisi for assisting with the literature search. They thank the reviewers and editor of this journal for their valuable contributions. Any omissions or mistakes are the authors’ own.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed