Libya: ICC Prosecutor notes positive progress in probes into crimes against migrants

On Wednesday (Nov. 08), the International Criminal court Prosecutor updated the United Nations Security Council on the progress in human trafficking investigations.

Karim Khan said his Office has undertaken over 15 investigation missions and collected more than 4,000 items of evidenceover the last six months..

He was speaking via videoconference to the Council gathered in New York.

The update came 18 months after the implementation of a renewed Strategic Plan for the work of ICC in Libya.

“So over the last six months, my office has continued to work closely with the joint investigative team that is investigating crimes against migrants on the Central Mediterranean route,” Karim Ahmad Khan.

“Based on this collective work, the office has been able to provide tangible support with respect to ongoing investigations and prosecutions, with respect to key suspects in human trafficking investigations and prosecutions in Italy and in the Netherlands.”

Libya’s representative appreciated the efforts of the Prosecutors office but urged them to share the results.

He said there is nothing new to be said: “For the Libyan people, the Libyan file before the ICC is stagnant and has been stagnant for years.” 

Taher El-Sonni added that the court’s credibility was on the line as he pointed to the slowlness, and the situation in Gaza.

“Your credibility is on the line; the ICC’s credibility is on the line. Some are doubting the ability and the credibility of the ICC. It’s not about how many cases you are considering. What matters is how many cases were completed and how many suspects were apprehended. Ladies and gentlemen, history will record and there is no peace without justice.”

The ICC investigations, opened in March 2011, focus on alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the context of the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011.  

The Office is reaching key benchmarks in its key lines of inquiry, in particular in addressing crimes related to the 2014-2020 operations.

The ICC prosecutor asked an increased budget for 2024, the Council members were not unanimous on that.

The UN has described the central Mediterranean migration route which transits through Libya as the world’s deadliest.