Yatvin Key Member of Defense Team at the ICC

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.

Mr. Aimé Kilolo Musamba

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.

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A snowy December night in The Hague

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.

Winter Landscape with Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp

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.

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Yatvin essay published in The Champion magazine

The May issue of The Champion, magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) contains an essay by Popper & Yatvin partner, Alan L. Yatvin.


Informal Opinion: Representing ‘Those People’ Achieves Justice

By Alan L. Yatvin

“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.

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Yatvin appointed Senior Legal Consultant at the ICC

On March 14, 2017, Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin was appointed Senior Legal Consultant to the Defence team of Mr. Aimé Kilolo Musamba in the case of The Prosecutor vs. Jean-Pierre Bemba et al. (ICC-01/05-01/13), at the International Criminal Court (ICC) sitting in The Hague, The Netherlands.

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Yatvin profiled in The Philadelphia Lawyer

The Fall 2014 issue of The Philadelphia Lawyer, the quarterly magazine of the Philadelphia Bar Association, features an article on Popper & Yatvin partner Alan Yatvin. INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE By Richard G. Freeman Our world – from Filbert Street courthouse to Market Street courthouse, perhaps interspersed with a bold junket to West Chester – is too … Read more

Yatvin on ethics panel in The Hague

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 … Read more

Missing Milan in The Hague

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.

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Off to The Hague

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.

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