Prosecutor withdraws charges against Maxime Mokom in the situation in the Central African Republic
On 16 October 2023, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim A. A. Khan KC notified the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the withdrawal of all the charges against Mr Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka pursuant to article 61(4) of the Rome Statute.
In the notice, the Prosecutor informed the judges that, having considered the totality of the evidence in the Mokom case and in light of changed circumstances regarding the availability of witnesses, he has concluded that there are no longer any reasonable prospects of conviction at trial even if the charges were confirmed.
The Prosecutor took this decision based on his objective assessment of the evidence, and guided by the interests of fairness and justice and, his overarching responsibilities as an officer of the Court.
Reiterating his commitment to increasing the efficiency in delivering the Office’s mandate, Prosecutor Khan stated: “We must be unwavering in our commitment to only proceed with cases that present a realistic prospect of conviction. My Office will spare no effort to ensure that the viability of cases is constantly and rigorously assessed against the available evidence at all stages of proceedings.”
Prosecutor Khan also recalled that his decision to withdraw the charges against Mr Mokom was without prejudice to the Office’s authority to request a new arrest warrant if more evidence becomes available in relation to crimes under the Court’s jurisdiction into the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR).
“I am very conscious that this news may be unwelcome to many survivors and their families. I am grateful to all who cooperated with my Office and applaud their courage and resilience. I hope many will understand my legal and ethical responsibilities to be guided by the law and the evidence. I hope they will be reassured that I am convinced the decision I have made is the correct one in this case.”
The Office will continue its work in the CAR situation within the existing cases before the Court seeking justice for the victims of the crimes committed in that situation.
Video message of ICC Deputy Prosecutor Mame Mandiaye Niang on the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II on the Prosecutor's notice of withdrawal of the charges against Maxime Mokom in the situation in the Central African Republic