Gambian Emerges as Frontrunner for ICC Chief Prosecutor

Posted December 1st, 2011 at 2:50 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.

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

She would become the first African to hold the high-profile post at the ICC, which has been criticized by many African leaders for exclusively focusing on the continent.

Bensouda beat out 51 other candidates to win the informal endorsement, and is expected to be officially appointed at an ICC session on December 12 in New York.

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 on Thursday.

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

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