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Ghanaian minister urges ICC to drop bias against African leaders

Xinhua, March 18, 2016 Adjust font size:

A senior Ghanaian official on Thursday criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) for what he described as "biases against African leaders".

Dr. Dominic Ayine, Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, observed that the act of targeting Africans in seeking justice was contrary to the standard permitted under any constitutional justice system.

"The perception of biases against Africa in the selection of cases to investigate and prosecute has arisen substantially as a result of the non-pursuit of cases elsewhere in the world, which by any standards of criminal justice, ought to have been investigated and prosecuted," Ayine said at a forum on the ICC in Accra.

He noted that there were equally good cases of injustice and mass murders perpetrated in other areas around the globe, which the court had failed to pursue.

He urged the international body to be impartial in its dealings on happenings around the world to end the court's selective prosecution of African leaders.

On July 17, 1998, the international community reached a historic milestone when 120 states adopted the Rome Statute, the legal basis for establishing the permanent ICC.

The Rome Statute entered into force on July 1, 2002, after ratification by 60 countries.

Since its establishment, the court has received over 9,000 complaints about alleged crimes from 139 countries from which it has indicted 36 Africans in eight countries.

It is currently holding former Liberian leader, Charles Taylor, and former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo.

The African Union in 2013 threatened to withdraw after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto, were indicted by the court for riots that flared up after disputed 2017 elections, which left hundreds dead. Enditem