A decade ago Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (Bemba) was charged by the Office of the Prosecutor (Prosecutor) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with crimes committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003 (murder and rape as crimes against humanity, murder and rape as war crimes, and pillaging as a war crime). Mr. Bemba was President of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), a political party founded by him and based in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Commander-in-Chief of its military branch. The events giving rise to the charges took place on the territory of the CAR, during an MLC intervention to support Ange-Félix Patassé, the then President of the CAR, in suppressing a rebellion. Bemba was convicted on March 21, 2016.
Bemba was represented in this Main Case at the ICC by Aimé Kilolo Musamba (Kilolo), a lawyer from DRC, who is also a French speaking member of the Brussels Bar.
In November of 2013, Mr. Kilolo and three other members of the Bemba defense team were arrested. Bemba was already in custody on the main case. Mr. Kilolo remained in custody in The Hague, seat of the ICC, for the next 11 months. Kilolo and the others were charged a few weeks later with offences against the administration of justice. Essentially, this case was about witness and evidence tampering. Continue reading “Yatvin Key Member of Defense Team at the ICC”
I was in The Hague for a meeting of the Association of Defense Counsel at the International Courts (ADC-ICT). This was my last day in The Netherlands before heading home and it was snowing.
With images of Hendrick Avercamp’s impish 17th century paintings and childhood memories of Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (book and movie) dancing in my head, I set out for the “centrum” to fill the last afternoon of my vacation. However, that snowy, frozen canal climate is long gone from this country. Unused to so much snow in a short period of time the Dutch city was, if not paralyzed, substantially slowed down.
After wandering around mostly deserted streets, I headed for the oh-so-convenient bus whose route dropped me practically at the door of the home of my friend Michael Karnavas, where I was staying. Over the next hour, it finally dawned on me that despite the illuminated boards assuring that the bus was 9 minutes, then 4 minutes, then 1 minute away, before disappearing from the board altogether, the buses had ceased running. So, I caught the tram to the beach, which I knew stopped behind the building housing the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) a 10 minute walk from my lodgings.
As I walked back, I stopped by the Churchillplein fountain, in front of the Tribunal, to reminisce and contemplate its impending closing.
“How can you represent those people?” In three decades as a criminal defense attorney, I had heard that question many times — at cocktail parties and from prosecutors, police, victims, law students, and once even from a judge. It comes with the territory. I understand that people accused of crimes are often automatically condemned, while their lawyers are regarded with contempt. However, as I walked along that steamy January afternoon, I was shocked by the source of the question. This time it was my wife, Laura, prompted by a just completed hour-long audio tour of a former fruit orchard on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Continue reading “Yatvin essay published in The Champion magazine”
Our world – from Filbert Street courthouse to Market Street courthouse, perhaps interspersed with a bold junket to West Chester – is too small for Alan Yatvin. Somehow this protean practitioner has balanced his role as a partner in the firm of Popper & Yatvin with meaningful appearances as defense counsel in the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague, representing defendants accused of crimes in the former Yugoslavia. For good measure Yatvin chairs the court’s Association of Defense Counsel Membership Committee. And last spring the globetrotting Yatvin was sworn in as a member of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, joining the list of international counsel at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC). Click here to read the full article.
Program attendees included ADC-ICTY members, interns and staff, as well as defence team members from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), staff of the ICTY/ICTR/MICT Registry, Prosecution and Chambers, and students from various universities around The Hague.
At the ADC’s General Assembly on November 9th, Alan was elected to his 5th term as chair of the ADC-ICTY Membership Committee.
On May 21, 2014, Alan L. Yatvin appeared before the Court of Appeal in Phnom Pehn and was admitted to the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Alan is in Cambodia to be assigned as provisional International Co-Lawyer for a confidential suspect under investigation in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the ECCC was created to try serious crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime 1975-1979. The ECCC was created by the government and the United Nations as an independent Cambodian court with international participation, applying international legal standards.
Unfortunate timing has me heading home from The Hague on Monday, one day before the Appeals Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) renders its judgment on the appeal of my former client, Milan Lukic. I was appointed to represent Lukic in April of 2006, following his arrest in Argentina and transfer to the ICTY in The Hague.
The Prosecutor sought re-transfer of Lukic and his cousin to the jurisdiction of the national courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) pursuant to Rule 11bis. Lukic had been convicted in absentia in Serbia, and he was quite notorious in BiH, so transfer from the security of the United Nations Detention Unit to a jail in BiH might well have resulted in his death.
Today I am off to The Hague, The Netherlands, for the Annual Training and General Assembly of the Association of Defence Counsel Practising before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY) on 30 November and 1 December (using European date formats is part of the travel prep). Topics include: Best Practices of Defence Counsel – A View from the Bench, Ethical Considerations for Defence Counsel, The Residual Mechanism, and Review of Appeal Judgements.