HAGUE, Netherlands, Nov 20 – The International Criminal Court’s Assembly of State Parties (ASP) on Wednesday agreed to discuss an Africa Union request against indicting a sitting president at The Hague-based court.
Speaking during the opening of the 12th ASP session, ICC President Song Sang-Hyung however asked delegates who will debate the amendments on Thursday to ensure that they are done in accordance with the law.
“Any amendments to the rules of procedure must be consistent with the legal regimes world over. The amendments must respect the wider framework,” he said as he appealed to ICC member states not to rush the proposed amendments.
He urged the State Parties to also ensure that the process is inclusive by ensuring thorough consultations are done before making any amendments to rule 68 and 100 of rules of procedure and evidence.
Song further urged member States to scrutinise the challenges the court is facing in relation to its cooperation with member states.
He asked them to identify the challenges and also come up with possible solutions that will improve the ICC’s relationship with member states.
He also emphasised the need for member states to cooperate with he court especially on protection of witnesses.
Kenya, whose President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are facing charges before the court has been a major topic regarding the country’s sovereignty and stability, as questions continue to persist over whether they should continue facing trial at The Hague while in office.
Attorney General Githu Muigai and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko are among other top officials already at the Hague talks and will be attending Thursday’s session to discuss the proposed amendment to sections of the Rome Statute which touch on the Kenyan cases before the ICC.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Amina Mohamed is also expected to join the talks.