Written by David Indeje
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Outgoing ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo (R) and incoming Prosecutor Mrs. Fatou Bensouda (L). [PHOTO|AP]
ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo will today handover to his Deputy Mrs. Fatou Bensouda after the expiry of his nine years term as the criminal court's chief prosecutor.
Mrs. Fatou Bensouda from the Gambia was long a front-runner for the post and emerged in early December as the consensus candidate.
While giving his last address to the press on Tuesday, Ocampo said the Kenyan case was the most important to him.
He assured the Kenya 2008 Post Election Violence (PEV) victims justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as his nine years term comes to an end.
“For me, Kenya case is one of the most important we're dealing with. Tomorrow is my last day as Chief Prosecutor.... It was an honour to serve the Kenyan people,” he said.
He added that, their most challenging bit was to open up the case and win the confirmation and that they did.
This was in regards to the forth coming general elections where he expressed optimism of Kenya holding peaceful elections.
The outgoing Prosecutor from Argentina was elected on April 21, 2003, by the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court when he was unanimously elected as the first Prosecutor of the Court.
Mrs. Bensouda, 50, who is deputy to Ocampo, was elected ICC Prosecutor by the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute on December 12, 2011 for a term of nine years.
On September 8, 2004, Mrs. Bensouda was elected Deputy Prosecutor by the Assembly of States Parties. She was in charge of the Prosecution Division of the Office of the Prosecutor.
Prior to her election, Mrs. Bensouda worked as a Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, rising to the position of Senior Legal Advisor and Head of The Legal Advisory Unit.
Before joining the ICTR, she was the General Manager of a leading commercial bank in The Gambia. Between 1987 and 2000, she was successively Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Republic, then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in which capacity she served as Chief Legal Advisor to the President and Cabinet of The Republic of The Gambia.
Mrs. Bensouda also took part in negotiations on the treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Parliament and the ECOWAS Tribunal. She has been a delegate at United Nations’ conferences on crime prevention, the Organization of African Unity’s Ministerial Meetings on Human Rights, and the delegate of the Gambia to the meetings of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court.
Mrs. Bensouda holds a masters degree in International Maritime Law and Law of The Sea and as such is the first international maritime law expert of The Gambia.
The handing over ceremony according to the ICC website will be witnessed by the Judges of the Court, the ICC Registrar, Ms Silvana Arbia, the ICC Deputy Registrar, Mr Didier Preira, the ASP Vice President, H.E. Markus Börlin, and the Court’s first Prosecutor, Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
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