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You are here: Home / The Prosecutor – In the Name of Justice

The Prosecutor – In the Name of Justice

On Friday June 15th 2012, Cinema for Peace with the Office of the Prosecutor, hosted a special justice evening in The Hague, to honor and farewell the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and welcome his successor Fatou Bensouda in her new role.
The Prosecutor – In the Name of Justice

Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Fatou Bensouda


In 2003, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo took the position of the first Chief-Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. After a successful career as a prosecutor in Argentina, including the well-known prosecution of senior military officials in the Trial of the Juntas, Luis and the ICC began charging, arresting and prosecuting warlords for crimes against humanity for the first time. Heads of states have been among those charged, including Sudan’s President Bashir for the atrocities in Darfur, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Joseph Kony the head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Ugandan, and Thomas Lubanga Dyilo - a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, accused of conscripting, enlisting, and using child soldiers was the first person to be tried by the International Criminal Court. The ICC grew faster than Facebook and has gained more than 2 billion members from 120 states. “When I arrived eight years ago, I had two employees, six empty floors, nothing. Now I have 300 people working around the world, and I can pass this institution to the next prosecutor.” Luis Moreno-Ocampo has mentioned. After 9 years of service, Luis Moreno-Ocampo has finished his term as Prosecutor of the ICC, and is passing his duties on to Fatou Bensouda.

Ms. Fatou Bensouda has been a Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2004. Prior to this Ms. Bensouda worked as a Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, rising to the position of Senior Legal Advisor and Head of The Legal Advisory Unit. On December 12, 2011, Ms. Fatou Bensouda was elected ICC Chief Prosecutor by the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute for a term of nine years. In response to her new position, Ms. Bensouda said, “I am proud to inherit a well respected and sound functioning office with high caliber dedicated staff, and organized policies and practices. This solid basis will be the starting point of my work, and any adjustment will be well considered. I will continue efforts to uphold the highest standards in court.”

The Farewell evening commenced with a screening of the documentary film “On the frontline – the making of the OTP”. The film was introduced by the Dutch Secretary of State, Fred Teeven and showcased the pioneering contribution of Luis Moreno-Ocampo to a new era in international justice.

Following the screening guests were invited to a farewell dinner hosted at The Hilton Hotel. The ICC and Luis Moreno-Decampo have received much praise during the past 9 years for their accomplishments in the fight for justice and peace, and the guest list reflected the appreciation of their work. Those who attended to honor Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo and acknowledge Ms. Bensouda, included diplomats and representatives of the 120 member states of the ICC, the judges of the court, the ICC registrar, and members of civil society. The evening was hosted by BBC anchor, Mr Komla Dumor.

The opening trailer was graced with a welcome from award winning actress and director Angelina Jolie, "During his term as chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Prosecutor Ocampo has made tremendous progress in the promotion of international justice. He has given a voice to the voiceless. Prosecutor Ocampo, I'm honored to join the many people acknowledging you tonight. Have a good evening." Keynote speakers acknowledged the significance of the International Criminal Court and Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s commitment to justice. Speakers included Sahmila Batohi (Head of the Legal Advisory Section in the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC), Jaka Bizilj (Founder of The Cinema for Peace Foundation), Bill Pace (Convener of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court) and Michel de Smedt (Head of the ICC Investigation Division).

Syrian-American filmmaker Sam Kadi also addressed guests during Prosecutor’s farewell dinner, on behalf of Syrian activists on the ground in Syria. Mr Kadi highlighted the need for the ICC to be involved in bringing peace and justice to Syria. His powerful short-film Siege on Syria was screened, highlighting the atrocities taking place in Syria, in response to the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

Following the main course, Ms. Fatou Bensouda addressed guests, sharing her experiences working with Luis during her service with the ICC, and vowing to continue what Mr. Moreno-Ocampo had begun. “Your excellences’, ladies and gentleman, dear colleagues, let us stand together tonight, and make a common pledge – to continue to protect the rights of 2.3 billion citizens living on the territories of one hundred and twenty one states parties.” Upon the conclusion of her speech, Ms. Bensouda was presented with flowers from the departing Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Luis honored Ms. Bensouda mentioning “I’d like to mention Fatou Bensouda talents, because I think it’s absolutely perfect that Fatou Besouda is elected prosecutor. She’s so gentle; she’s so obviously gentle and nice… So, thank you Fatou Besouda for deciding to be the prosecutor,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo went on to acknowledge the many people who make the work of the ICC possible. In particular, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo mentioned the ICC interns. “We always have in the office twenty five – thirty, young, lawyers from all over the world. From Sri Lanka, Colombia, any country – discussing, and showing me, this is the future…And, they’re so committed, that’s why for me, the hero of the night is Antonio, this guy has gone to great lengths to make our video, OK. He decided to volunteer for three months, no salary, no sleeping. He was doing everything at 5am in the morning to make the movie that some of us saw today. And this is the kind of people we have in the Office of the Prosecutor.”

Luis’ speech was met by a surprise performance by Chilean singer Cécilia Fuentes, whose family was affected by Pinochet in Chile. In a tribute to Luis, Ms. Fuentes led the audience in singing ‘Cambia todo cambia’ (everything can change), a South American folk hymn against oppression and dictatorship. This moving accolade was followed by the well-known Evita anthem, ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’.

The night concluded with a collective performance of the gospel hit ‘Oh Happy Day’ with Dutch performer Natasia and a number of ICC staff members. The evening was a fitting farewell and tribute to Luis Moreno-Ocampo and a warm, supportive welcome to Fatou Bensouda as she take the reins in the quest for international justice.

Ai Weiwei for Cinema for Peace

Ai Weiwei's Safe Passage installation with life-vests from Lesbos for Cinema for Peace.

Konzerthaus.jpg

Upcoming Screenings:

 

'He Name Me Malala'

Nicosia, Cyprus / September 27th , 19:00 / Corner Agion Omologiton & Agialou 1

 

'Girl Rising'

Nicosia, Cyprus / October 4th , 19:00 / Corner Agion Omologiton & Agialou 1

 

 

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