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Press Release : |

Argentina and International Criminal Court sign an agreement on Witnesses’ protection

ICC-CPI-20161122-PR1258

The Under Secretary for Criminal Policy of the Ministry of Justice of Argentina, Dr Ricardo Martín Casares, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to The Netherlands, H.E. Mr Horacio Salvador, the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and the ICC Registrar, Mr Herman von Hebel at the seat of the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands on 21 November 2016 ©ICC-CPI
The Under Secretary for Criminal Policy of the Ministry of Justice of Argentina, Dr Ricardo Martín Casares, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to The Netherlands, H.E. Mr Horacio Salvador, the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and the ICC Registrar, Mr Herman von Hebel at the seat of the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands on 21 November 2016 ©ICC-CPI

On 21 November 2016, at the seat of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court"), the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, H.E. Mr Horacio Salvador, and the ICC Registrar, Mr Herman von Hebel signed a cooperation agreement related to witnesses' protection in the presence of the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and the Under Secretary for Criminal Policy of the Ministry of Justice of Argentina, Dr Ricardo Martín Casares.

The President of the Court thanked the Argentine Republic for renewing in concrete terms its willingness to cooperate with the Court. "The signing of agreements greatly facilitates cooperation between the Court and a State Party. […] When, in exceptional cases, the lives of witnesses are in danger, the Court needs the cooperation of States to ensure that they do not suffer any harm because of their testimony", she stressed.

The Ambassador of the Argentine Republic stated that "the signing of this Agreement reaffirms Argentina´s commitment on matters of cooperation with the ICC" and added that his country "will continue to give support to the Court in the fight against impunity of the most serious crimes of international concern".

The Registrar of the Court further noted that cooperation agreements, and in particular regarding witnesses' protection, are a key priority for the Court. He indicated that the signature of this agreement brought the number of such agreements to 18 and added: "We call on more States Parties to consider signing these agreements. ‎The Registry stands ready to engage with all interested States on this key matter for the Court. The Seminar hosted by the ICC this Friday, 25 November and dedicated to cooperation agreements is a good opportunity to foster stronger and operational cooperation ties with the ICC".

The ICC offers protection to persons at risk because of their engagement with the Court. Agreements on witnesses' protection are in principle confidential, unless the State decides otherwise, and are necessary to ensure the success of this protection and to allow witnesses to safely present their testimonies to the ICC Judges.


For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson/Head, Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or 31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: Fadi.El-Abdallah@icc-cpi.int

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