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Bensouda and Gicheru lose bid to stop appeal

By Evelyne Kwamboka | December 27th 2020
ICC Judge Reine Alapini-Gansou

Efforts by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and a Kenyan accused before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to block an appeal against a single judge hearing the case have been thwarted.

The ICC allowed the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (OPCD) to challenge the decision on one judge instead of three hearing a case at the pre-trial stage, as it constitutes a significant precedent for future proceedings.

Judge Reine Adelaide Sophie Alapin-Gansou (right) told Bensouda and lawyer Paul Gicheru that the OPCD has a mandate to protect the rights of suspects in the case in which Gicheru is charged with interfering with the prosecution’s witnesses.

Pre-Trial Chamber A pointed out that the decision on one judge hearing Gicheru’s case marks the first time that proceedings concerning offences under article 70 on administration of justice will be conducted on the basis of Provisional Rule 165.

“This procedural basis has not been previously reviewed by the Appeals Chamber. In the event that the Provisional Rule 165 decision would not be susceptible to leave to appeal, the very basis of these proceedings could only undergo appellate scrutiny if the chamber would confirm the charges and once a decision under article 74 of the Statute and rule 165(2) of the Rules is rendered by a Trial Chamber,” reads part of the ruling by Judge Alapin-Gansou. 

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