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ICC elects Britain’s Karim Khan as next chief prosecutor

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has elected a British Barrister Karim Khan as its new chief prosecutor.

Karim Khan was elected by the court’s 131 member states at the UN in New York.

He will replace Fatou Bensouda from the Gambia when her tenure expires in June this year.

Mr. Khan was one of only four candidates that contested the election after five other candidates, including a Nigerian and Uganda judge dropped out of the process.

Karim Khan was the lawyer who represented Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto in his trial for crimes against humanity at the Hague.

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The British will serve as chief prosecutor for a term of 9 years effective June, 2021.

Fatou Bensouda was elected ICC’s chief prosecutor in 2011, replacing the Argentine lawyer Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Bensouda secured some major convictions including the recent case of former Ugandan rebel commander Dominic Ongwen who was convicted of war crimes just this month.

Fatou Bensouda

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The United States of America under former president Trump placed sanctions on her continued probe into alleged war crimes committed by US forces in Afghanistan.

Despite being an African serving as the chief prosecutor of the ICC, many African leaders have criticized the court for targeting only Africans.

The ICC was established by a UN treaty in 2002 but countries like China, India, USA and Russia, have all refused to join.

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