International Court, Battered by Critics, Elects Briton as New Prosecutor

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He became famous at The Hague because of his high-profile customers, one of them Saif el-Qaddafi, son of the Libyan dictator. After Mr. Khan was delegated to behave as court-appointed attorney for Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia charged with terror, rape, murder and other war crimes, Mr. Taylor dismissed him, sending Mr. Khan storming from the courtroom.

Given Mr. Khan’s previous jobs as defense counsel”at a range of ongoing cases prior to the I.C.C.,” that the odds have been”considerable” he might need to recuse himself from many situations, the committee mentioned.

Possibly his most controversial case entailed his defense against Vice President William Ruto of Kenya, who was charged with crimes against humanity throughout postelection violence in 2007. The I.C.C. judges declared a mistrial due to”a troubling occurrence of witness hindrance and excruciating political meddling” by Kenyan officials. Mr. Khan wasn’t convicted of any wrongdoing, but the court has charged three Kenyans with”witness tampering” in case.

Mr. Khan’s predecessors, Ms. Bensouda and Luis Moreno Ocampo, were both appointed by consensus. However, this time numerous nations and civil society groups, needing a more transparent and competitive selection procedure, establish a special committee to interview applicants.

A first collection of all 89 candidates had been whittled down to a few, but the options drew complaints which just one, Fergal Gaynor, an Irish lawyer, looked highly qualified. More candidates were added into this record and were needed to explain publicly how they’d operate the prosecutor’s office, a project a few have called”mission impossible”

Straw polls finally produced two front-runners: Mr. Gaynor and Mr. Khan, both of whom had extensive experience in international courts.

But gained sufficient support to attain a consensus. As nations asked for more time, Spain put forward Carlos Castresana because its candidate, and Italy in the last minute suggested Francesco Lo Voi, who hadn’t worked in international law but had built a reputation in the home for prosecuting complicated, organized-crime instances.

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