NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 24 – Outspoken critic of the International Criminal Court, David Matsanga, has written to the Assemblies of State Parties calling for the postponement of the public engagement on recruitment of a new Prosecutor.
The court has kicked off the hiring process for a new prosecutor to replace Fatou Bensouda whose term in office ends on June 21, 2021. She took over from Moreno Ocampo, who initiated an investigation on the killing of more than 1,100 people during Kenya’s post-election violence in 2007.
The Assembly of State Parties has called for public discussions and engagement with four applicants for the post of Chief Prosecutor, from July 27 to 30.
But with the travel restrictions still in place globally, there are calls for its postponement to a later date.
“As you are aware, with COVID-19, most of us who have serious incriminating evidence against some of the applicants will not be able to attend such a crucial meeting,” Matsanga said in a letter addressed to the President of the ASP O-Gon Kwon.
Most countries, including Kenya, closed their airspace to international flights in late March even though some have started operating under strict measures.
Kenya has announced that the country’s airspace will be opened to the world on August 1, but there are already uncertainty due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, and the infection peak that is projected to start next month.
Matsanga, who is the Chairman of the Pan African Forum, also wants the ASP to cancel the entire list of candidates to the post, saying some of the NGOs set to take part are in Europe and affiliated to the George Soros Open Foundation.
“The purpose of this letter is to inform member states of the ASP, the committee of ASP that is handling the matter to cancel the entire list and change the dates,” he said.
Matsanga is opposed to some of the candidates, including Fergal Gaynor.
Matsanga is on record having filed applications against Gaynor in the Kenyan situation on accusations against him.
“His disrespect for the African Union in his pleadings before the court and public press statements as victims counsel in the Situation in Kenya compromises his independence in pursuing the court’s cooperation and complementarity goals,” Matsanga wrote.
And if the ASP President does not cancel the scheduled public engagements, Matsanga said he will formally file a motion in the Appeal Chamber V, seeking an injunction against the entire process “until there is full public participation.”