Access to Justice: ICC office installation does not commit investigation

The director of Access to Justice stressed that this office will give the ICC Prosecutor an understanding of the country that is not the same as the information obtained through third parties in complaints

The lawyer and director of Access to Justice, Ali Daniels, assured that the signing of a new memorandum of understanding between the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court and the administration of Nicolás Maduro, which specifies the installation of an office of that international body in the country, does not compromise the investigation that is being followed for crimes against humanity.

In statements to the mediaDaniels explained that the presence of this office of the ICC Prosecutor’s Office is unprecedented in the region and does not change the position of this institution on the reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuelan territory.

He recognized that it can be difficult to understand the principle of complementarity – with which the Prosecutor’s Office provides assistance to the States – and the position of the ICC Prosecutor’s Office regarding the investigation, but pointed out that this “is an institutional position. The ICC prosecutor does not contradict himself or change his position at all. It is another institutional face in the face of the weaknesses detected by Karim Khan, who offers help and technical assistance for investigations in the country.

Another issue that the director of Access to Justice highlighted is that this office will give the ICC Prosecutor an understanding of the country that is not the same as the information obtained through third parties in complaints.

“It will never ever be the same for an official to be told what is happening in Venezuela than for him to see it. This is essential for the Prosecutor’s Office because even if they do not collect information that has weight in the investigation, they will know how life is lived in Venezuela (…) Although the Prosecutor’s Office will be giving technical training courses, they will be able to see first-hand how the judicial system,” Daniels explained.

*Read also: The ICC Prosecutor’s Office confirms with Nicolás Maduro the installation of his office in the country

In addition, mechanisms for the transmission of information and training to Venezuelan officials will be established. “The government is making a commitment, because in its letter it says that it made reforms but the changes have not been implemented. The prosecutor can ask why the legal reforms have not been implemented and why all the crimes of the Rome Statute are not recognized in the Venezuelan judicial system.

“This is no small thing for this government that says any statement about Venezuela is meddling,” Daniels said.

Regarding the situation of the victims, for Daniels, the prosecutor in his statements recalled that he is aware of the NGOs and the victims, as well as that he is interested in holding conversations with these actors and preventing them from being persecuted within the country.

He also considers that the presence and targeting of the world’s investigation and prosecution organizations has made a dent, “but they have been more selective because they know that the world is watching them. The fact that the prosecutor is coming is not because he comes for tourism, but because he has to look for progress ».

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