Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Friday, April 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Hague war crimes court investigating own staffer

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has opened a formal investigation into allegations by four people who say they were subjected to sexual abuse by a court staff member working in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

AMSTERDAM —

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has opened a formal investigation into allegations by four people who say they were subjected to sexual abuse by a court staff member working in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The war crimes court said Friday it is "profoundly concerned by these grave allegations" and had taken steps to protect the alleged victims. It said the investigation was aimed at "establishing the facts underlying the allegations and fairly determining any possible responsibilities."

It is not clear whether the allegations will lead to a prosecution, and if so, where it would take place. The court said it would turn the inquiry's findings over to ICC "judges and relevant parties to the proceedings concerned" - presumably meaning legal authorities in Congo.

The Coalition for the ICC, an umbrella organization of civil society and human rights groups that support the court, said in a reaction that members had been "deeply shocked and concerned" to hear of the allegations.

"The Coalition expects the court to carry out a credible and impartial investigation into the allegations and, should they prove true, ensure that all those responsible be held to account, including, if relevant, those responsible for managerial oversight of the personnel accused," it said in a statement.

The charges come at a war crimes court that has made a priority of prosecuting rape and sexual conscription in conflict zones. Sexual abuse is rife in the volatile east of Congo, and several ongoing cases stem from the region.

Warlord Bosco Ntaganda faces charges of rape and sexual enslavement and militia leader Germain Katanga is on trial for charges including rape and sexual enslavement.

The ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, came into being in 2002 and the treaty that created it has been ratified by 121 nations. Prosecutors have so far indicted suspects in seven different countries, all of them in Africa, including Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Libya and Ivory Coast.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►