Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Berger on Libya/ICC

Nov 7, 2012

(statement as delivered by Ambassador Berger in a Security Council meeting on Libya/ICC)

"Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Prosecutor for presenting her report. And since this is the first time that you, Madame Bensouda, are briefing the Council, please allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the post of ICC Chief Prosecutor. We are convinced that the Office of the Prosecutor is in good hands, and we wish you all success.

We commend Libya on the progress achieved during the first year since its liberation from the Gaddafi regime. The recent approval of the new cabinet of Prime Minister Zeidan is an important step in the transition process. No one expected this transition to be easy and without challenges after decades of systematic destruction of political institutions by the former regime. The Prime Minister and his government should therefore receive all the support they need, and we are looking forward to working closely with the new government.

Regarding the issues presented by the Prosecutor, I would like to make the following four points:

Firstly, on cooperation: We fully support the prosecutor’s call on all concerned to fully cooperate with the ICC, and thus contribute to the implementation of resolution 1970.  We are mindful that resolution 1970 explicitly demands full cooperation from the Libyan authorities with the ICC, and we therefore encourage Libya to meet its obligations without preconditions or restrictions. In this context, we appreciate the renewal of the mandate of the Libyan focal point to the ICC on 11 September.

Secondly, regarding the admissibility challenge presented by Libya in the case of Saif al-Islam Al-Gaddafi. Germany reiterates her view that the ultimate decision on that matter is to be made by the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber alone.  It is in the interest of all to establish clarity on the issue of jurisdiction as soon as possible. We therefore urge the Libyan authorities to swiftly supply the Pre-Trial Chamber with copies of the evidence presented orally during the public hearing held on 9 and 10 October. We expect all concerned to fully accept and implement the forthcoming decision of the ICC.

Thirdly, on the more general point of how potential future referrals by the Council should be worded: Germany regrets that despite a clear legal obligation to allow for full application of the Rome Statute to all activities undertaken by the ICC and its staff under the Statute, some staff members of the ICC had been detained in Libya in June. We are therefore of the view that future referrals should explicitly highlight the privileges and immunities enjoyed by ICC staff.

Fourthly, Germany remains very concerned about reports, including by the UN’s Commission of Inquiry, regarding gender related crimes that were committed in Libya. We fully share the view of the Prosecutor that such crimes may well fall under the Rome Statute, and that the ICC therefore has the full authority to investigate and, if needed, prosecute the perpetrators of these hideous crimes.

Finally, I wish to reiterate Germany’s readiness to support ongoing investigations following requests for co-operation.

I thank you." 

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