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ICC rules out investigation on Hugo Chavez

By Aleksander Boyd

London 12.02.06 | In communication dated February 9, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled out -for the time being- the possibility, of initiating proceedings for crimes against humanity against Hugo Chavez for the April 11 2002 events, when a number of people were assassinated.

Moreno Ocampo's communiqué concluded:

For the above reasons, in accordance with Article 15(6) of the Rome Statute, I wish to inform you of my conclusion that, at this stage, the Statute requirements to seek authorization to initiate an investigation in the situation in Venezuela have not been satisfied. This conclusion can be reconsidered in the light of new facts or evidence. I wish to remind you, in accordance with Rule 49(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, that should you have additional information regarding crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, you may submit it to the Office of the Prosecutor.

Interestingly the following can also be read:

In order to constitute a crime against humanity, Article 7(1) of the Rome Statute provides that particular acts must have been committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population. This test creates a stringent threshold.8 Even on a generous evaluation of the information provided, the available information did not provide a reasonable basis to believe that the requirement of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population had been satisfied.

Perhaps Moreno Ocampo is unaware of this:

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