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Karim Asad Ahmad Khan takes office as ICC Prosecutor

Britain's Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC was sworn in on Wednesday and officially took office as chief Prosecutor of the…

Britain’s Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC was sworn in on Wednesday and officially took office as chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at a ceremony held at the court’s headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands.Mr. Khan, a national of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was elected as ICC Prosecutor on February 12, 2021, for a nine-year term, during the second resumption of the 19th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (ASP) in New York.

In accordance with Article 45 of the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, the ceremony presided over by ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański, took place in open session, reports a statement from the Court shared with APA.

“I solemnly declare that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as prosecutor of the International Criminal Court with honor and dedication, impartiality and conscience, and that I will respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecutions,” he said as he took the oath in public.

He then signed the oath before ICC Registrar Peter Lewis and delivered his first speech as ICC Prosecutor.

“The whole Rome Statute system represents a promise for the future, that tomorrow should not be as sad and unhappy as yesterday,” said Prosecutor Khan, who takes over from Fatou Bensouda of the Gambia.

“I feel humbled to have the opportunity to serve, and to face the responsibilities that have been entrusted to me. I will do my utmost to fulfill these responsibilities without fear or bias, with fidelity and integrity, and in full compliance with the solemn declaration I have just made,” he added.

Returning to the essential role of the Prosecutor in the work of the Court in his speech, ICC President Hofmański stressed that “although the judges are the ones who decide the verdict at the end of a case, it is also true that these cases would never reach the judges without the decision of the Prosecutor to bring them to trial.”

“It is the Prosecutor who is responsible for the way in which preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions are conducted, and how the evidence against them is selected and presented,” he declared, warmly congratulating Mr. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan.

“As President of the Court, I look forward to working with him to strengthen our common institution,” the ICC President went on.

The Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Katerina Sequensova, speaking on behalf of the ASP, said that Mr. Khan has “extensive experience in international criminal justice” and expressed confidence that his tenure “will convert into an important milestone in the process of the execution of international justice, to which we are firmly committed.”

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