How Not to Lie Convincingly About the ICC

by Kevin Jon Heller

Did you hear the one about Judge de Gurmendi, the President of the ICC, taking bribes for from 2004 on to ensure Omar al-Bashir’s indictment?

The president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is facing calls to resign after it emerged that she may have received financial rewards said to be in millions of dollars to ensure the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al Bashir.

Information reaching The London Evening Post here say that between 2004 and 2015, Argentinian-born ICC President Judge Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi allegedly received into her private bank accounts at Banco Popular in the Virgin Islands, the First Caribbean Bank in the Bahamas and the Congregation B’nai Israel unexplained funds mounting to over US$17million that was allegedly used to bribe witnesses that enabled the ICC to indict the Sudanese leader.

The funds are alleged to have been channelled through Judge de Gurmendi’s accounts by Barting Holding Ltd, Atlantic Corporation, Genesis International Holdings and Napex International, all of which are offshore financial companies, who allegedly made wire transfers ranging from US$150,000-US$250,000 to the judge’s bank accounts. It is alleged that these funds were made available to Judge de Gurmendi during the time that President Bashir was under investigation and the ICC was looking for evidence to indict him.

It has been further alleged that funds channelled through Judge de Gurmendi’s accounts were allegedly distributed by her to groups in Darfur including the Sudan Liberation Movement, formerly the Darfur Liberation Front founded by Abdul Wahid al Nur and others in 2002. Appointed ICC President in March last year, de Gurmendi is alleged to have used the funds to ‘recruit, coach and fake evidence and witnesses to testify against President Bashir’.

You have to admire the skill of the bribers. Judge de Gurmendi didn’t become a judge at the ICC until 2010 — long after the first arrest warrant for al-Bashir was issued.

NOTE: Judge de Gurmendi was the head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity, and Cooperation Division in the OTP from 2003-2006. But nearly four years passed from the end of her tenure to the issuance of the first arrest warrant for Bashir. So my sarcasm above stands.

One Response

  1. Response…This sounds convincing. But there is another article published in The London Evening Post on Jun 18. It was claimed in this article that the main suspect is former chief prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo. In both articles was cited controversial African politician David Nyekorach Matsanga. The accusations he made are serious. His target is Moreno-Ocampo , former chief prosecutor and two other unnamed persons. According to the article he said, inter allia, “We have applied to table the evidence we have as ex-parte confidential against three current ICC court officials that include Luis Moreno-Ocampo.” You must take in account Matsanga speech delivered at Punchline Africa TV published on Jun 30. In this speach he said that PAN (Pan African Forum situated i Kenya) is colecting evidence against Moreno-Ocampo and others for their involvement in tempering with witnesses in other African cases. He satd: “At this stage, Sudan is only the beginning. We will follow later with cases in Kenya where witnesses were sexually molested by NGOs, where the same organizations were paid huge sums of money and where huge amounts of money were spent by the Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) to corruptly by witness.“ For Judge de Fernandez he said that she was close aid OF Moreno-Ocampo while working n the OTP from 2003-2006. The fact that she was working in OTP You affirmed. The question is what her relation was with persons investigating cases in which she was, later, sitting as a judge. Was she in conflict of interests? This possibility and allegations that she was intermediary in bribing witnesses couldn’t be explained away by the fact that reputation of Matsunga is very low. This would be sophistry known as argumentum ad hominem. It is used in cross examination of witnesses to confuse them and jury. But here there are no witnesses and no jury to be confused. Allegation must be examined carefully. High stakes are in the game.
    Goran Bjedov, graduated philosopher
    Beograd, Serbia.

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