Gambian Emerges as Frontrunner for ICC Chief Prosecutor

Posted December 1st, 2011 at 9:25 am (UTC-5)
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Fatou Bensouda of Gambia has emerged as the leading candidate to become the next chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.

Liechtenstein's U.N. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, who heads the selection process, says he will formally recommend Bensouda at a meeting of ICC member nations Thursday.

The 50-year-old Bensouda is the deputy to the ICC's current chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, whose nine-year term ends in June.

Bensouda previously has served as an adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as well as attorney general and justice minister in Gambia.

If chosen, she will become the first African to hold the high-profile post at the ICC, which many African leaders have criticized as unfairly focusing on the continent.

All of its cases so far have been in African countries.

Bensouda beat out 51 other candidates to win the informal endorsement of the ICC Prosecutor Search Committee. The other finalist was Tanzania's chief justice, Mohamed Chande Othman.

Bensouda is expected to be officially appointed at an ICC session on December 12 in New York.

The International Criminal Court was founded in 2002 in order to prosecute individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.