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Karim Khan elected chief prosecutor at ICC

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British lawyer Karim Khan has been elected the next chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Khan QC, 50, currently heads a United Nations investigation into war crimes committed by the Islamic State group in Iraq.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said success in a closely-fought election would be seen as a diplomatic win for the UK after Brexit.

The ICC is the only permanent body investigating crimes against humanity.

Mr Khan won the votes of 72 out of 123 countries in the second round of voting, and will begin his nine-year term at the court in the Hague in June.

He defeated candidates from Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Mr Khan will be only the third chief prosecutor in the court’s 18-year history, succeeding Gambian judge Fatou Bensouda.

Karim Khan.

Since 2018, Mr Khan has led a UN investigation aimed at identifying and bringing to justice the perpetrators of IS atrocities in Iraq.

In his 27-year law career, he has previously worked for the prosecution in the International Criminal Tribunals for crimes committed in the wars in the former Yugoslavia and during the Rwandan genocide.

He has defended figures such as Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto at the ICC – which threw out charges of murder, deportation and persecution following the country’s 2007 elections – and the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saifd Al Islam.

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Among his first tasks as ICC chief prosecutor will be to decide how to handle controversial investigations into war crimes in Afghanistan, and potentially in the occupied Palestinian territories.

 

Source: BBC

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