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The ICC signs enforcement agreements with Belgium, Denmark, and Finland

ICC - June 1, 2010
Jean-Pierre Bemba
Jean-Pierre Bemba at the ICC

The Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Finland have signed agreements with the ICC to enforce the judges’ final sentences of imprisonment.

“Having sufficient options in place to ensure the enforcement of judicially ordered sentences is an important element in the overall credibility of the judicial process at the ICC”, stated ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, during the signing ceremony. The ceremony took place on 1 June, 2010, in Kampala (Uganda), where the Review Conference of the Rome Statute is taking place.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Yves Haesendonck Ambassador of Belgium, H.E. Thomas Winkler, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark and Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs in the Danish Foreign Ministry as well as Jaakko Laajava, Under-Secretary of State in the Finnish Foreign Ministry.

The Republic of Austria, in 2005, and the United Kingdom, in 2007, had become the first States to enter into an agreement with the Court to enforce the Court sentences.

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Investigations are open in five situations: the Republic of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Darfur (Sudan) and the Republic of Kenya.

Eight suspects are at large and four persons are actually in the custody of the Court at the ICC detention centre in Scheveningen (the Netherlands). Two trials are ongoing before ICC Trial Chambers: the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, which opened on 26 January, 2009, and the trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, which commenced on 24 November, 2009. The trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is scheduled to start on 5 July, 2010.

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