Press Release: 16 July 2015

ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I requests Prosecutor to reconsider decision not to investigate situation referred by Union of Comoros


On 16 July 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC), composed of Judges Joyce Aluoch, Cuno Tarfusser and Péter Kovàcs, by majority, Judge Péter Kovács dissenting, granted the request of the Union of Comoros to review the decision of the ICC Prosecutor not to investigate the attack against a Humanitarian Aid Flotilla by the Israeli Armed Forces on 31 May 2010 and requested the Prosecutor to reconsider such decision.

On 14 May 2013, a referral was received by the Prosecutor's Office from the authorities of the Union of the Comoros, a State Party to the Rome Statute, in relation to the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla's incident. On 6 November 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor had announced that it was concluding the preliminary examination of the situation referred by the Union of Comoros because legal requirements of the Rome Statute to proceed with an investigation had not been met, since the potential case(s) likely arising from an investigation into this incident would not be of "sufficient gravity" to justify further action by the ICC. 

On 29 January 2015, the Representatives of the Government of the Union of the Comoros filed an Application for Review of the Prosecutor's Decision not to initiate an investigation in the Situation. Further submissions were received by the Chamber from the Prosecutor, the Comoros and the victims who had communicated with the Court in relation to the situation. 

In its decision of 16 July 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber I stated that the Prosecutor committed material errors in her determination of the gravity of the potential case(s). In particular, the Chamber identified material errors in the Prosecutor's assessment of the possibility to prosecute those persons who may bear the greatest responsibility for the identified crimes committed during the seizure of the Mavi Marmara, as well as of the scale, nature, manner of commission and impact of the potential crimes. Accordingly, the Chamber requested the Prosecutor to reconsider her decision not to initiate an investigation. The Prosecutor shall do so as soon as possible, and shall notify the Chamber, the Comoros and the victims who have provided observations of her conclusion and of the reasons for it. 

Decision on the request of the Union of the Comoros to review the Prosecutor's decision not to initiate an investigation  

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]


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