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Press Release :

Afghanistan: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II authorises Prosecutor to Appeal Decision Refusing Investigation

ICC-CPI-20190717-PR1479


Today, 17 September 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) granted in part the request of the Prosecutor for Leave to Appeal the "Decision Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute on the Authorisation of an Investigation into the Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan". Once the Prosecutor will submit her appeal, it will then be up to the Appeals Chamber to decide whether or not to confirm the Pre-Trial chamber's decision.

On 12 April 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II had rejected unanimously the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation on alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Chamber granted the Prosecutor's leave to appeal the Decision on two grounds, namely whether there exists a necessity or possibility for a Pre-Trial Chamber to carry out an assessment of the 'interests of justice', and, in the affirmative, which proper and relevant factors a Pre-Trial Chamber must or may consider for the purposes of such assessment.

The Pre-Trial Chamber dismissed by majority, Judge Mindua dissenting, the request for leave to appeal the 12 April 2019 decision submitted by the legal representatives of some situation victims.

Decision on the Prosecutor and Victims' Requests for Leave to Appeal the 'Decision Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute on the Authorisation of an Investigation into the Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan'

Partially Dissenting Opinion of Judge Antione Kesia-Mbe Mindua

Background: On 20 November 2017, the Prosecutor requested authorisation from Pre-Trial Judges to initiate an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to the armed conflict in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan since 1 May 2003, as well as regarding similar crimes related to the armed conflict in Afghanistan allegedly committed in the territory of other States Parties to the Rome Statute since 1 July 2002.

On 12 April 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II rejected unanimously the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation on alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The judges decided that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.

On 7 June 2019, the Office of the Prosecutor filed its Request for Leave to Appeal the "Decision Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute on the Authorisation of an Investigation into the Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan". In addition, on 10 June 2019, the Legal Representatives of Victims filed the Victims' request for leave to appeal the 'Decision Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute on the Authorisation of an Investigation into the Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan'.

For more information, see: https://www.icc-cpi.int/afghanistan


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