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Bensouda shuts the door on Flotilla Investigation

Journalists For Justice / 06 December 2017

 Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, has refused to investigate an Israeli attack on a boat in the Indian Ocean.

Alleged crimes committed in conflict between Israel and Hamas, and between Israel and Palestine were reportedly outside the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Bensouda said her office could not assess the gravity of the alleged crimes committed by the IDF on the Mavi Marmara since they were outside the scope of the referral and the jurisdiction of the ICC.

She cited that her decision is based on: a careful analysis of Pre-Trial Chamber I’s reasoning; a thorough reconsideration of all information available at the time of the November 2014 determination; and anew examination of all submissions and information made available to her Office in the period between 2015 and 2017 by representatives of the Union of the Comoros and participating victims.

The ICC prosecutor said that after her office was subjected to renewed analysis of more than 5,000 pages of documents, including the personal accounts of more than 300 passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara, as well as other materials and this has made her reaffirmed her decision to close her preliminary investigation.

Fatou Bensouda concluded that there were no grounds to establish that the crimes which had been committed on a large-scale or as a part of a plan or policy.

The Chief Prosecutor, closed the file for the first time in her November 6, 2014 decision, when she turned down the Comoros’ complaints citing that the case lacked the weight to be admitted before the highest Court, ICC barring opening investigation. The ICC pretrial Chamber (I), voted against the decision and ordered her to open the investigation to the issue.

She appealed the decision and the ICC appeals chamber requested her to review her previous conclusion but gave her room to file the same decision after reviewing the matter.

Fatou Bensouda said that the decision filed on Wednesday November 29, 2017 with Pre-Trial Chamber I, is final, and subject only to her ongoing discretion to reconsider a decision not to proceed on the basis of new facts or information.

Laying emphasis on the comprehensive analysis, Bensouda said that her conclusion remains that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed by some members of the Israel Defence Forces during and after the boarding of the boat on May 30, 2010; however, no potential case arising from this situation can be considered of “sufficient gravity” to be admissible before the International Criminal Court which therefore prevents the opening of an investigation.

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