Since last Friday, articles have emerged in certain media making allegations against the former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court"), Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo. These articles are reportedly based on 40,000 documents, including personal emails, obtained and processed by the European Investigative Collaborations and eleven participating news outlets. While there may be a suggestion in the public domain indicating that personal email systems were the subject of hacking, the Court has no knowledge as to how this documentation was obtained.
The Court has since the start of its operations taken information security very seriously and has deployed all efforts to have in place strong information security measures and systems to protect the integrity of sensitive information in its possession. The Court regularly scrutinises and tests its systems. In light of the recent media reports, the Court has carried out additional checks, and to date, there is no indication that its systems have been compromised.
Since 2015, the Court has had in place a financial disclosure system which requires senior management, to submit an annual disclosure of asset form in accordance with the United Nations Financial Disclosure Programme and the Secretary General's Voluntary Public Disclosure Initiative. The President, Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutor and Registrar of the Court, complete those annual declarations. At the time of Mr Ocampo's term as ICC Prosecutor, this system was not in place, and as such, the Court was not aware of any of his private financial arrangements while he served as Prosecutor.
Below is a statement by Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the Court.
ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on recent media allegations of impropriety by former Prosecutor and certain staff
The media reporting also contains specific allegations implicating current and former staff members of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor.
As Prosecutor, I view such allegations with concern and take them very seriously. I have reported the allegations implicating two members of my staff to the
Independent Oversight Mechanism ("IOM") available to the Court within its legal framework. The IOM has determined that the matter will proceed to a full investigation. As per IOM standards and procedures, the allegations will be assessed objectively and impartially with full respect for due process and fair treatment of the staff members concerned. Pending the results of the investigation, I have taken precautionary measures to protect the interests of the Office and the Court. As this matter unfolds and the allegations are fairly and properly scrutinised, speculation should not be entertained. Rather, the procedures and processes in place aimed at establishing the facts must be respected, with full cooperation with the investigation, as required.
My Office has already stated, in response to media queries, that it has not initiated contact, sought advice or collaborated with the former ICC Prosecutor, Mr Ocampo, in relation to any of the situations or cases being handled by the Office or the Court since I assumed office as Prosecutor. I have, in the past, personally made my position on this clear to Mr Ocampo and have asked him, in unequivocal terms, to refrain from any public pronouncement or activity that may, by virtue of his prior role as ICC Prosecutor, be perceived to interfere with the activities of the Office or harm its reputation.
Moreover, it must be emphasised that any information communicated to my Office is assessed in an independent, impartial and objective manner, strictly within the parameters of the Rome Statute. I base all my decisions on my own independent assessments, as the Statute requires me to do, as Prosecutor.
My Office plays a crucial role in the achievement of the objectives set for the ICC by the Rome Statute, which is to contribute to the prevention of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, by the effective investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes. Through our work, we may thus bring some measure of justice to the victims of these grave crimes.
The unfortunate allegations of concern here will not distract my Office from striving to create a more just world in accordance with the Rome Statute. I will do all within my power, independently, impartially and objectively, to seek the justice we all yearn for, with dedication and integrity.