The deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Wednesday that his court would be “flexible” in dealing with FARC crimes, provided that war crimes are adequately punished.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a top-level international court based out of The Hague in the Netherlands, which deals with the prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
The ICC’s deputy prosecutor, James Stewart, made his announcement during a speech that was broadcast by the website of Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. The speech, which was organized by the Rosario University in Bogota, was titled Transitional Justice in Colombia and the Role of the ICC.
Stewart emphasized several times the importance of promoting the objectives of the Rome Statute, but also ensured his belief that including the ICC should be a “last resort”.
Despite Stewart’s willingness to be flexible, he also asserted that “the most serious crimes should not go unpunished.” Those guilty of violating fundamental human rights should be held to maximum responsibility, said Stewart.
Colombia has had several run-ins with with the ICC in years past, largely due to the FARC’s demands for full amnesty, thus violating ICC law.
Amnesty of FARC guerrillas remains a gray area for the ICC, as many violations fall beyond the court’s jurisdiction, including rebellion, sedition, and treason. One issue that Stewart took particularly seriously was sexual violence committed by guerrillas.
As of now, there is no perceived deadline to the peace talks, which have been ongoing in Havana, Cuba since 2012. Moreover, for the time being, the ICC’s involvement is purely speculative.