John Jones, Amal Alamuddin & Libya: A Financial Cache of Libya’s ICC Case

 

Abdulla Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi's spy chief and brother-in-law. Amal Alamuddin and Ben Emmerson are his ICC lawyers.

Abdullah Senussi

At our readers’ request: Our issues with Amal Alamuddin’s finances.   Scroll half-way through the article until you see her Libyan client, Abdullah Senussi.  Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chief and brother-in-law.

 _____________________

 
An important Financial Update from the Authors: 
2015 UNSC Report noting 2013 "exemption" for Abdulla Senussi's UK Law Firm for ~US$750,000 HERE

2015 UNSC Report noting 2013 “exemption” for Abdulla Senussi’s UK Law Firm for ~US$750,000. Page 143 HERE

On the 30th of July 2015, we provide an excerpt from the 2015 United Nations Security Council Report about the Libyan assets freezes monitored by the UNSC Resolution 1970 – which noted that a 2013 “exemption” allowed the money looted by the Gaddafi Cronies – to in fact go to pay for Abdullah Senussi legal defense. 

Point 19a of UNSC Resolution 1970

Point 19a of UNSC Resolution 1970  HERE

The 19(a) “exemption” noted that £500,000 ($750,000) of the Libyan people’s money was allowed to pay for Abdullah Senussi’s UK LAW FIRM for HIS DEFENSE at the International Criminal Court. That is only for the year of 2013 and only one law firm. He had lawyers from at least two UK law firms.

These are the original ICC arrest warrants for Muammar & Saif Gaddafi and Abdulla Senussi. Amal Alamuddin is Abdulla Senussi's lawyer as he is charged with 2 counts of Crimes Against Humanity.

These are the original ICC arrest warrants for Muammar & Saif Gaddafi and Abdulla Senussi.  Abdulla Senussi is charged with 2 counts of Crimes Against Humanity.  HERE

To the United Nations Security Council:   For the victims of Abdullah Senussi to pay for ‘his defense’ after 42 years of brutalization ending as the Regime’s Intelligence Chief charged with 2 counts of crimes against humanity in the ICC arrest warrants – we argue is to victimize the Libyan people ONCE AGAIN.
See our PDFs: UN SECURITY COUNCIL REPORT 23 February 2015- 1502120 & UN SC Resolution 1970

 

___________________________

 Our July 2014 article….

John Jones’ Appointment is Marred in Controversy:  The ICC’s Registrar warns of  ‘favoured treatment’ to Saif with his legal aid AND ‘cautions against setting a precedent’ over the appointment of John Jones.   We argue the ICC’s Chambers dismissed the ‘cautions’, side-stepped existing Court regulations to set an ICC legal precedent.  

If we had the option of a sub-headline, this would be it.

Let’s start with The Telegraph Article

British taxpayer funds defence of Gaddafi’s son TheTelegraph Photo Stringer-Reuters

British taxpayer funds defence of Gaddafi’s son The Telegraph Photo Stringer-Reuters  HERE

Under the headline, British taxpayer funds defence of Gaddafi’s son: The International Criminal Court sparks outrage over its decision to pay for a barrister for Saif Gaddafi,  The Telegraph’s Robert Mendick and Robert Verkaik wrote a daring article discussing the financial issues of Doughty Street Chambers and their Libyan clients.  As we said in our previous articles, Doughty Street Chambers’  Amal Alamuddin, John R.W.D. Jones and Wayne Jordash represent three DIFFERENT Libyan clients on EITHER side of the SAME Libyan case at the ICC.  That is ALL the case’s participants.  The June 8th article stated:

In a statement issued to The Telegraph the court said it had “exceptionally decided to assume the costs of Mr Gaddafi’s legal representation on a provisional basis until such time as an assessment of his disposable means has been conducted”.

Our op/ed discussion will focus on the financial issues of the three Doughty Street Lawyers as they represent their Libyan clients; Abdulla Senussi, Saif Gaddafi and the Government of Libya.  Finally, we are able to provide confirmation from the lawyers themselves about their legal fees and origins of payment.   We, of course, will draw some inference from these financial disclosures.  For that, we thank The Telegraph.

 

John R.W.D. Jones and his client Saif Gaddafi

International court staff freed after detention in Libya July 2012 CNN.com getty images

Melinda Taylor and other International court staff freed after detention in Libya July 2012 CNN.com getty images HERE

Melinda Taylor revisited: 

The world is certainly a small place:  John Jones’ recommendation to the ICC’s Judges as the new legal representative of Saif Gaddafi came from none other than Melinda Taylor.  The world remembers Melinda Taylor as the ICC public defender that while visiting her client, Saif Gaddafi in Zintan was taken into custody in June 2012.  Allegations against Ms. Taylor and her three colleagues included possession of spy equipment and assorted documents, including a coded letter from Saif’s office manager, Colonel Mohamed Ismail.  Although allegations were neither proved nor disproved, Saif was on trial for charges resulting from that incident.

Zintan Press Conference ICC-Melinda Taylor Photo AFP

Zintan Press Conference ICC-Melinda Taylor Photo AFP  HERE

An excerpt from the IBA ICC Programme Fair Trial Digest May-June 2012 issue

An excerpt from the IBA ICC Programme Fair Trial Digest May-June 2012 issue  HERE

We do note the ICC’s letter of regret to Libya for the incident does not exist any longer on the ICC site.  Nor is the link available in several international sites Here, Here , Here & Here, as it was reported at the time. Although reported in the International Bar Association’s IBA ICC Programme: Fair Trial Digest May-June 2012 issue “The ICC promised a full investigation into any misconduct…”, we were unable to find any evidence of an ICC investigation or conclusion of Ms. Taylor and her colleagues’ actions.

iLawyer Blog Newsletter April-June 2012

iLawyer Blog Newsletter April-June 2012  HERE

 

However, we are able to provide Ms. Taylor’s post-release PDF entitled: Statement in Defense of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The speech was given on July 6th 2012 in The Hague. SEE: MelindaTaylor Press-Release  We also note that at the time, the Doughty Street-associated ILawyer blog mentioned their support and friendship with Ms. Taylor.  ‘The iLawyers are friends and colleagues of Ms. Melinda Taylor.’ Although, Mr. Jones was not mentioned as an iLawyer in that PDF issue, (he was later, John Jones iLawyer) there were OTHER fellow Doughty Street members such Amal Alamuddin and Wayne Jordash.  Our PDF copy: iLawyer Newsletter Issue-2

 

Melinda Taylor at the International Criminal Court

Melinda Taylor is a member of ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defence, OPCD, (a.k.a. the Public Defender’s Office).  After visiting and receiving approval from Saif,  Ms. Taylor and Xavier-Jean Keïta were appointed to represent him in April 2012 by the ICC’s Chambers or judges. (page 3)    However, within a year of appointment, Ms. Taylor and Mr. Keïta, citing ‘an imminent depletion in staffing will disrupt the continuity of Mr Gaddafi’s representation’ as the basis of the  ‘request to withdraw’, the OPCD applied to the Chambers to remove their office as counsel for Saif Gaddafi.  Further, Ms. Taylor and Mr. Keïta requested that Judges ‘ recognise the appointment of John R.W.D. Jones as replacement defence counsel for Mr Gaddafi (the “Request”). (page 3)   SEE PDF: Request to Withdraw

OPCD's Request to Withdrawl -Melinda Taylor and Xavier-Jean Keïta.

OPCD’s Request to Withdraw -Melinda Taylor and Xavier-Jean Keïta.  HERE

 

4. On 4 March 2013, the OPCD requested the authorisation of the Chamber to (i) withdraw its counsels’ representation of Mr Gaddafi pursuant to regulation 78 of the Regulations, and (ii) recognise the appointment of John R.W.D. Jones as replacement defence counsel for Mr Gaddafi (the “Request”). The OPCD also requested that the Chamber confirm Mr Gaddafi’s entitlement to legal assistance under the legal aid scheme of the Court.^

 

 

John Jones’ controversial appointment.  The Chambers’ decision on OPCD’s ‘Request to Withdraw’ we argue set an ICC legal precedent.

Melinda Taylor and her office’s recommendation of John Jones set off a firestorm within the International Criminal Court.   The issue of the appointment prompted various branches of the ICC such the Office of the Registrar, the administrators of the Court, to be pitted against the OPCD, John Jones and the Court’s Judges.  So vehement in their convictions, each side made their writs public. Apparently, airing the ICC’s dirty laundry is rare because it was noted by the judges.  Over several months written requests, observations and Chambers’ decisions saw the participants hurling insults and making allegations of ‘…alleging that the Registrar’s Observations contain inaccurate or potentially misleading statements of fact or procedure’ (page 4) and …cautions against setting a precedent’  (page 5) and The OPCD questions the competence of the Registrar’ (page 5) and [t]he Registrar’ committed an unreasonable error’ (page 4) and ‘[t]he Registrar has fettered his discretion incorrectly and unreasonably’ (page 4).

Or (page 5):

’10…The Registrar further highlights that the Request is not based on a legitimate ground for withdrawal under article 18 of the Code of Professional Conduct for counsel’  (Taylor and Keïta)

Or (page 5):

Registrar:  ’11. With respect to counsel from the OPCD’s suggestion as to their replacement, the Registrar cautions against setting a precedent whereby counsel (Taylor and Keïta) would be permitted to select his or her replacement

Or (page 19):

Registrar:  ‘To grant Counsel’s (John Jones) Request to Review would be in practical terms tantamount to changing a concrete aspect of the Court’s legal aid system as adopted, setting a precedent that is in contradiction of the black letter of the law as it concerns the policy scheme governing the Court’s legal aid system’

Or (page 7):

Registrar: ‘What is impressible is to disregard these specific and to give a favoured treatment to beneficiary of legal aid resources over others, as is being asked by Counsel (John Jones) in his Request for Review.’

Observations of Registrar -Public

Observations of Registrar – Public HERE

‘To Give a favored treatment’ to Saif  is what we argue, the exact result of Ms. Taylor’s and the OPCD’s recommendation.  The Chambers’ decision on ‘Request to Withdraw’ in the case of Prosecutor v. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Senussi we argue set a legal precedent that encompasses various legal principles.  On these legal principles, the Registrar forewarned the Chambers.

The Registrar cautioned the Chambers that the OPCD’s ‘Request is not based on a legitimate ground for withdrawal under article 18 of the Code of Professional Conduct for counsel’. (page 5)  The Registrar is referring to:  ‘The OPCD submits that an imminent depletion in staffing will disrupt the continuity of Mr Gaddafi’s representation…’ ( page 4) The basis of the ‘depletion of staffing’ was the expiration of a translator’s renewable employment contract!

The Registrar cautioned the Chambers: ‘against setting a precedent whereby counsel  would be permitted to select his or her replacement.’  (page 5)  The Chambers dismissed the Registrar’s warnings and accepted the OPCD’s recommendation.  The Chamber’s ‘considers that the practical impediments to the provision of timely and effective legal representation to Mr Gaddafi by counsel from the OPCD, as set out in the Request, make it necessary and appropriate to accept the request for withdrawal and to appoint an alternative legal representative…’ (page 6)

The Chambers DID NOT heed the ‘cautions’ of the Registrar.  SEE PDF: Observations of the Registrar.   To review the full extent of the insults and melee that ensued please consult these three ICC documents.  HERE, HERE  and HERE    Our PDF copies: 17 April 2013 doc1581647, 30 July 2013 doc1628202 & 18 June 2013 doc1605859

 

Judges accepted the OPCD’s recommendation for John Jones

Chamber's decision of Review of Registrar's decision.

Chamber’s decision of Review of Registrar’s decision.  HERE 

As noted by the Registrar, for the Chambers to accept the OPCD’s recommendation for the appointment of John Jones was to violate existing regulations thereby setting a legal precedent. (page 5)  A Legal precedent.  In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court or other judicial body adopts when deciding later cases with similar issues or facts.  SEE PDF: Decision on Request for Review of Registrar’s Decision by the Defence

The Registrar: ’11. With respect to counsel from the OPCD’s suggestion as to their replacement, the Registrar cautions against setting a precedent whereby counsel would be permitted to select his or her replacement,…

The Chambers opted to bypass the Registrar’s warnings altogether and exercise regulation 76(1), with their interpretation of The Regulations of the Court. The Chamber wrote: (Page 7)

’20. Accordingly, the Chamber considers it to be in the interests of justice to appoint Mr John R.W.D. Jones to represent Mr Gaddafi pursuant to regulation 76(1) of the Regulations, as a provisional measure, until Mr Gaddafi exercises his right to freely choose counsel under article 67(1 )(d) of the Statute, or until the definitive disposal of proceedings related to the Admissibility Challenge, at which point the question of Mr Gaddafi’s legal representation will be revisited by the Chamber.’

We note that the Chambers is referring to Regulation 76,  Appointment of Defence Counsel by a Chamber  (page 45)

‘1. A Chamber, following consultation with the Registrar, may appoint counsel in the circumstances specified in the Statute and the Rules or where the interests of justice so require…’

The Chambers did technically consult the Registrar but seem to dismissed his warnings.  The Chambers instead embraced the  OPCD’s recommendation stating the Chamber considers it to be in the interests of justice to appoint Mr John R.W.D. Jones to represent Mr Gaddafi.’  We did not read in Regulation of the Court 76.1  that the Chambers should consult the OPCD.  Under Regulation 73, the selection of a replacement, the duty counsel, is from a ‘roster’ of available counsel maintained by and is within the purview of the Registrar’s duties NOT the OPCD’s duties.  Our PDF copy: Regulations of the Court 170604EN

 

The Fallout

The Chambers’ legal precedent set – as warned by the Registrar – in the case of Prosecutor v. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Senussi encompasses various legal principles within the case.  The legal principles, we argue, open for new legal interpretation include (1) the OPCD may ‘request to withdraw’ for reasons ‘not based on a legitimate ground for withdrawal under article 18 of the Code of Professional Conduct for counsel’, (2) The OPCD may recommend their replacement from outside law firms, (3) The Chambers may force the Registrar to provide legal aid under many ways including theoretically to a defendant with money.  We argue these principles raised in the ‘Request to Withdraw’ open the door for new interpretations for other lawyers to argue before the court.

This precedent also forced the Registrar to reinterpret the regulations of legal aid in order to ensure that Saif received legal assistance so that John Jones could be paid.

 

Legal aid for Saif Gaddafi

The Chambers commented that it is not their purview to decide on legal aid as ‘…regulations vest responsibility for the elaboration and management of the legal assistance scheme of the Court in the Registrar.’  (point 21 page 7).  Under Regulation 130, Legal aid decisions are within the purview of the Registrar.  However,  as the court allowed the OPCD (ICC-paid public defenders)  to withdrawal AND recommend the appointment of John Jones, it FORCED the Registrar to give Saif legal assistance in order to pay John Jones.  The Registrar noted that the usual procedures were not followed. 84.1 and 84.2  Mandatory forms were not completed (regulation 131) and the proof of indigence investigation did not occur. (regulation 132) The Registrar’s office wrote:

Given these circumstances, the interests and the proper administration of justice required an exceptional response from the Registry to ensure that the rights of Mr Gaddafi to legal representation are safeguarded in accordance with the legal texts of the Court. As such, the Registry decided to provisionally assume the costs of Mr Gaddafi’s legal representation until such time an assessment of his disposable means has been conducted and a decision on his indigence rendered following the normal procedures..

The Registrar cautions against 'setting a precedent that is in contradiction to the black letter of the law...'

The Registrar cautions against ‘setting a precedent that is in contradiction to the black letter of the law…’  HERE

This observation explains The Telegraph‘s highlighted comment.  We argue that by allowing  OPCD to withdrawal and appointing John Jones, the Chambers thereby made legal assistance mandatory to safeguard the rights enshrined in the Court.    John Jones filed requests for even more money but it was rejected.  The Registrar vehemently cautioned: (page 19),

‘…when Counsel’s request – on scope or otherwise – requires in effect an actual change to a concrete aspect of the Court’s legal aid system itself – as is the case here – there is less room for judicial intervention.  To grant Counsel’s (John Jones) Request to Review would be in practical terms tantamount to changing a concrete aspect of the Court’s legal aid system as adopted, setting a precedent that is in contradiction of the black letter of the law as it concerns the policy scheme governing the Court’s legal aid system.’

A Contradictory Interview?

There seems to be some contradictory information to the above mentioned ICC documents.  On the 24th of April 2014, The International Justice Monitor interviewed Mr. Jones. The International Justice Monitor is ‘operated by the Open Society Justice Initiative, part of the (George Soros) Open Society Foundation.’ Our PDF copy : ‘Q & A with Saif Gaddafi’s Lead Counsel before the ICC John Jones

An excerpt:

TR: Are you appointed by the ICC or did Mr. Gaddafi hire you?

JJ: I was appointed by Mr. Gaddafi’s family in April 2013. Mr. Gaddafi has no way of directly appointing a lawyer, as he is being held in incommunicado detention. Mr. Gaddafi had previously indicated to the ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defense that he wanted his family to designate his counsel.

The ICC has recognized that appointment, and I am remunerated under the ICC’s legal aid scheme, not by Mr. Gaddafi or his family.

A few questions come to mind from several parts of his statement:

‘I was appointed by Mr. Gaddafi’s family in April 2013.’  We found NO EVIDENCE in any ICC document dated March –August 2013 that Mr. Jones EVER INFORMED the ICC he ‘was appointed by Mr. Gaddafi’s family in April 2013.’  In fact, the Chambers on April 17th 2013 decided ‘ to appoint Mr John R.W.D. Jones to represent Mr Gaddafi pursuant to regulation 76(1) of the Regulations, as a provisional measure, until Mr. Gaddafi exercises his right to freely choose counsel under article 67(1) (d) of the Statute…’   The Chambers reconfirmed this order on July 30th 2013.  In those official ICC documents,  we found no evidence that John Jones made A DISCLOSURE to the Court that he in fact was appointed by the Gaddafi family.  Why?

A Q & A with Saif Gaddafi's Counsel John Jones. International Justice Monitor

An excerpt from A Q & A with Saif Gaddafi’s Counsel John Jones. International Justice Monitor  HERE

I am remunerated under the ICC’s legal aid scheme, not by Mr. Gaddafi or his family’  The significance of Mr. Jones’s FAILURE TO DISCLOSE would be that during this time, the ICC Judges and Registrar were determining Mr. Jones’ remuneration under the ICC legal aid scheme.  Would the ICC have allowed Saif to receive legal aid IF they knew about Mr. Jones’ appointment from the Gaddafi family?

‘Mr. Gaddafi had previously indicated to the ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defense that he wanted his family to designate his counsel.’  The  OPCD’s Ms. Taylor and Mr. Keïta, citing ‘an imminent depletion in staffing’ as the basis of their request to withdraw and the recommendation of John Jones to replace them.  We found NO EVIDENCE in the applicable ICC documents from March to July 30th 2013 that Ms. Taylor and Mr. Keïta notified the court of Saif Gaddafi’s wishes.

Actually, in direct contradiction to Mr. Jones’ 24th April 2014 interview is the OPCD’s official statement in ICC document 1524311 dated 11 December 2012, which discussed the 6th June 2012 meeting in Zintan. Our PDF copy: 11 December 2012 doc1524311   ‘The visit, however, was interrupted before an appointment of counsel and a power of attorney could be obtained from Mr Gaddafi.’ (page 3-4)    As a result of that last Zintan meeting, the OPCD indicated in subsequent ICC documents that:

(Page 7) ‘…the fact that the defendant (Saif Gaddafi) verbally requested the continued appointment of the OPCD at this juncture of the proceedings.’

(Page 10) ‘… the fact that Mr Gaddafi had indicated his wish to be represented by Counsel from the OPCD.’

As the OPCD had no other meet with Saif, Mr. Jones’ statement seems to be a discrepancy with the OPCD’s official statement.   Did the OPCD withhold this information?  Was Saif’s wish for representation ‘from the OPCD’ or  for ‘his family to designate his counsel.’   Either way, given Mr. Jones’ variant statement, we have to wonder what is the real basis of the OPCD’s request to withdraw and John Jones’ recommendation? 

‘The ICC Recognized THAT appointment.’  Exactly which appointment?  Is that The ICC appointment OR the Gaddafi family appointment?

 

Amal Alamuddin and Abdulla Senussi.

Abdulla Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi's spy chief and brother-in-law. Amal Alamuddin and Ben Emmerson are his ICC lawyers.

Abdulla Senussi was Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chief and brother-in-law. Amal Alamuddin and Ben Emmerson are some of his ICC lawyers.

The Telegraph article noted a source of funding for Ms. Alamuddin and the entire Senussi legal team:

‘The case has drawn in the actor George Clooney’s fiancée Amal Alamuddin, who is representing Gaddafi’s former torturer-in-chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, before the same court. Senussi’s legal team is being privately funded.’

‘Senussi’s legal team is privately funded.’  ‘Privately funded’ is a legally evasive answer.  If the Senussi legal team is unwilling to disclose the source of the private fund, an investigation is warranted as Resolution 1970 is still in effect.  If the money is coming from a source financially associated with Abdulla Senussi, it is subject to UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and should be frozen as assets of the Libyan Government.

Security Council Amends Its Travel Ban Assets Freeze to include Abdulla Senussi March 2011

Security Council amends Its Travel Ban/Assets Freeze to include Abdulla Senussi March 2011 HERE

Although Senussi’s assets were frozen, it occurred on the 17th of March 2011,  a month later than the Gaddafis and one can conclude it left time to hide the assets.  Note that ‘Senussi’s legal team through the ICC process has been in contact with Abdulla Senussi’s daughter, Anoud.  In fact, The Independent’s article dated 31st October 2013, stated that Ben Emmerson met Anoud. ‘Mr Emmerson said in Cairo after meeting Anoud earlier this month…’              

Anoud Abdulla Senussi The Independent

Anoud Abdulla Senussi The Independent HERE

Ms. Senussi’s contribution to the political article, was the human touch:

‘Senussi’s 20-year-old daughter, Anoud, has described to The Independent how she saw her father in prison in Libya “apparently beaten on the eyes and nose, very weak and weighing less than 35 kilos”…’

Ms. Alamuddin is in personal contact with Anoud as well.  In her May 3rd press conference, Chris Stephen of The Guardian noted that:

‘When she (Alamuddin) failed to get a visa for Libya, or even permission to speak to her client by phone, she sought out Senussi’s daughter, Anoud…’

George Clooney’s fiancée.  Finally, Ms. Alamuddin is engaged to a potential Democratic candidate for the 2018 California’s Governor Race, we speculate that this evasive answer is not sufficient to satisfy the American Public.  As demonstrated in previous political campaigns, when entering American politics, the doors are hurled open to ALL the previous financial dealings and business associations of a potential politician AND his wife to scrutiny by the American public.  This scrutiny will magnify ten-fold as California poised to regain No. 8 ranking in global economy  and she is a member of the New York Bar.

We suggest that Ms.  Alamuddin disclose NOW the source of the private fund to the American AND the Libyan people before it festers and the press start to make speculations.  Before headlines begin to surface such as Did George Clooney’s Fiancee receive payment from Frozen Assets of the Libyan People?  or Did George Clooney’s Fiancee receive money from Gaddafi’s Niece?   Finally, if it is subject to the assets freeze of 1970, return the money to its rightful owners, the Libyan people.   SEE PDF: UN Security Council Resolution 1970

____________________

Update: Definitive Evidence of the funding of ‘Senussi Legal Team’
UNSC Report UK exemption for Abdulla Senussi's Law firm 500K

2015 UNSC Report noted a 2013 “exemption” for Abdulla Senussi’s UK Law Firm ~US$750,000 Page 143  HERE

About Ms. Clooney’s contention that “Senussi’s legal team is being privately funded.  As previously mention, in a financial update on the 30th July 2015, we provide an excerpt from the 2015 United Nations Security Council Report about the Libyan assets freezes monitored by the UNSC Resolution 1970 – which noted that a 2013 “exemption” allowed the money looted by the Gaddafi Cronies – to in fact go to pay for Abdullah Senussi legal defense. 

Point 19a of UNSC Resolution 1970

Point 19(a) of UNSC Resolution 1970  HERE

The 19(a) “exemption” noted that £500,000 ($750,000) of the Libyan people’s money was allowed to pay for Abdullah Senussi’s UK LAW FIRM for HIS DEFENSE at the International Criminal Court.  That is only for the year of 2013 and only one law firm.  He had lawyers from at least two UK law firms.

A Conclusion: This 2015 UNSC report provides definitive evidence that the ‘Senussi legal team’ was in fact paid from Libyan assets frozen by UNSC resolution 1970.   The 2015 UNSC report noted payment came from a bank account of a relative of Abdulla Senussi.     See our PDFs: Page 143 UN SECURITY COUNCIL REPORT 23 February 2015- 1502120 & UN SC Resolution 1970

__________________

the rest of the article…

 

Libya compensating the London Law firms and Article 16 of the Rome Statute

Professor Payam Akhavan arguing before the ICC on October 9th, with Libyan Legal Team colleagues, Dr. Ahmad Al Gehani (L) and Professor Philippe Sands (R) @ ICC-CPI/Reuters/Michael Kooren

Professor Payam Akhavan arguing before the ICC on October 9th, with Libyan Legal Team colleagues, Dr. Ahmad Al Gehani (L) and Professor Philippe Sands (R) @ ICC-CPI/Reuters/Michael Kooren

John Jones made a backhanded comment comparing ICC fees paid to him to fees paid to Libya’s lawyers.  Mr. Jones’ comparison gave us the FIRST insider accounting of the money that Libya has been paying to Matrix Chambers and his Doughty Street Chambers. (Doughty Street’s Wayne Jordash also represents Libya.)

Mr Jones told The Telegraph that his £70-an-hour legal fees were “minimal” and the UK taxpayer’s contribution “infinitesimally small”, whereas the legal expenses of the Libyan government ran into millions.

Mr. Jones said thelegal expenses of the Libyan government ran into millions.’  We have to ask why?  The case could have been cancelled diplomatically WITHOUT HIRING ONE law firm.  Who told the Libyan Government’s Litigation Office to the foot the bill with these offices?

We stated in our first article and any related one since: Libya had the diplomatic OPTION under article 16 of Rome Statute to ask the Security Council to CANCEL the ICC proceedings.   Dr. Payam Akhavan, former legal adviser to the ICC prosecutor’s office and presently representing Libya at the ICC said it COULD BE CANCELLED through diplomatic channels, i.e. the United Nations’ Security Council.  We quote this former legal advisor to the prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court.   VIDEO:  ICC, Libyan Government at Odds over Saif al-Islam Trial  or Our Copy.  Start at 3:27:

 “One final point is that the Libyan case has been put before the Court by the Security Council referral and there is …huh… Libya has never signed the statute of the court, so the court only has jurisdiction because of the UN Security Council referral and the Security Council could decide to withdrawal that referral in deference to the Libyan government. In which case, the ICC prosecutor would have no leg to stand on…”

 

In other words, the Court has NO RIGHT to Saif or Abdulla Senussi if the Security Council withdraws that referral to the ICC.  The mechanism Dr. Akhavan refers to is Article 16 of the Rome Statue.  In fact, Article 16 is actually mentioned in UN Security Council resolution 1970:

‘Recalling article 16 of the Rome Statute under which no investigation or Prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with by the International Criminal Court for a period of 12 months after a Security Council request to that effect,…’

Although experts say the wording in this resolution was to avert prosecution of Muammar and Saif IF they surrendered,  but we note that it was AVAILABLE to the Libyan diplomats too.   As we have said before, this simple, diplomatic option would END the international dimension of Saif Gaddafi’s celebrity case by sending to the diplomats, BEFORE the human rights lawyers got involved, BEFORE their ICC petitions started to flow, and BEFORE their per-hourly-legal-fees start to amass.

 

An American Legal Assessment

We consulted an American attorney to provide a legal assessment of the law firms taking in consideration Dr. Akhavan’s (our copy is above) of the interview, Article 16 of the Rome Statute and the fact that the Libyan Mission DID NOT approach the Security Council to exercise this option. An excerpt:

Therefore, as an New York Attorney, I believe that (i) either the Matrix Chambers did not advice Libya to take the issue to the Security Council and by doing that Matrix violated the Bar Standard Board Code of Conduct, or (ii) Matrix law firm did advise Libya on such option but the Libyan decision makers opted to face the ICC and paid millions of dollars to Matrix and Doughty Street Chambers.  Accordingly, it opens the door to speculation on the motives of the Libyan Government officials.  

I would note that as experts in the ICC legal procedures, Matrix Chambers lawyers would have known of Article 16, Libya’s diplomatic option.  Further and more incriminatory to the team is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interview given by Matrix team member Dr. Payam Akhavan on November 20, 2011.  His legal opinion was given prior to representing Libya. “One final point is that the Libyan case has been put before the Court by the Security Council referral and there is …huh… Libya has never signed the statute of the court, so the court only has jurisdiction because of the UN Security Council referral and the Security Council could decide to withdrawal that referral in deference to the Libyan government.   In which case, the ICC prosecutor would have no leg to stand on…”

However, despite of his legal opinion mentioned above, Dr. Akhavan accepted the assignment to represent Libya before the ICC.   The question is did Dr. Akhavan, a New York attorney, inform Libya of article 16 as he is required by the New York Lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility A British Barrister and a New York Attorney are required to provide their clients with all available options.

We reiterate: ‘ (i) either the Matrix Chambers did not advice Libya to take the issue to the Security Council and by doing that Matrix violated the Bar Standard Board Code of Conduct, or (ii) Matrix law firm did advise Libya on such option but the Libyan decision makers opted to face the ICC and paid millions of dollars to Matrix and Doughty Street Chambers…’

We will be blunt:  Are the UK and US lawyers able to verify that they DID inform Libya of ALL its legal options?  If so, what were the motives of the Libya Government officials?  Either way someone should inform the Libyan People why ‘the legal expenses of the Libyan government ran into millions.’?

 

A Conclusion

Considering the missteps, the legal precedent, and the  ‘favoured treatment’  of the Chambers so far, COULD LIBYA EXPECT a fair trial for Saif at the ICC?  One has to wonder.  As you evaluate, consider the two points raised in this discussion and four more before making a definitive determination -if the ICC is projected to provide a fair trial.  AND if you find something a miss, something exceptional, something conspiratory about the way the ICC has been handling Saif’s case, voice your opinion.

Point One: We argued the legal precedent set by the ICC Chambers in order to accommodate the appointment of John Jones and the subsequent way legal aid was given to Saif.

Point Two: Melinda Taylor and ICC colleagues’ investigation of ‘misconduct’ promised by the ICC Judges to Libya but did not seem to materialize.

Ratko Mladic's trial suspended indefinitely The Telegraph Photo AP

Ratko Mladic’s trial suspended indefinitely The Telegraph  Photo AP  HERE

 

Consider these next four facts:

Ratko Mladic

Point Three: The embarrassing case of Ratko Mladic who was on trial at the ICC for the Srebrenica massacre.  Mladic is now essentially a free man as his trial is suspended indefinitely due to a simple procedural error by the prosecutor.  And if the same errors occur during Saif’s ICC trial, who will explain to the victims of 42 years of Gaddafi rule and the 2011 Revolution?

The world remembers Ratko Mladic as the military commander who allegedly ‘…had organised the round-up, murder and burial of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.’

 

Blunder at ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ trial: Judge suspends hearing indefinitely because of ‘errors by prosecution’ say The Daily Mail.    The Telegraph wrote:

Radovan Karadzic & Ratko Mladic Daily Mail

Radovan Karadzic & Ratko Mladic Daily Mail  HERE

On another embarrassing day for international justice, the judge ordered a halt to proceedings after it emerged that the prosecution had failed to disclose millions of pages of evidence to the former general’s defence team.

 

Ratko Mladic The Telegraph -Impractical Pragmatism

Ratko Mladic The Telegraph -Impractical Pragmatism HERE

The extraordinary blunder is a severe blow to the reputation of the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Accidents do happen.  In the case of Ratko Mladic, a simple prosecution procedural error left his case suspended indefinitely and Mladic a free man.

 

Intrigue at the International Criminal Court.

ICC Document part 1

ICC Document part 1 HERE

Point Four: we note that on the 27th November 2011, an individual contacted the Registrar on behalf of another individual asking to be appointed to represent the ‘interest of Saif Gaddafi’.  We cannot tell you who contacted the

ICC Document Part 2

ICC Document Part 2 HERE

ICC  as those names have been redacted to hide their identity. Why? Who is powerful enough to contact the court for Saif’s benefit and then have their identity expunged by the court?    SEE PDF: Redacted Identity ICC doc1283037

6. On 30 November 2011, the Registry confidentially filed the “Observations of the Registrar pursuant to communication received on the 27 November 2011” (“Registry Observations”), 15 wherein the Registrar: (i) indicates that a call had been received, allegedly from  ———————–, asking that  ——————– be appointed to represent the interests of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi,^^ (ii) indicates that Saif Al Islam Gaddafi is held incommunicado at this time^^ and (iii) proposes to provisionally  accept this irregular mandate in order to allow —————–to intervene in the proceedings pending verification of the accuracy of this mandate from Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi himself.^^’

Why would the International Criminal Court hide the identity of these supporters of Saif Gaddafi?

 

Doughty Street International-The Hague headed up by John Jones. September 2014,

Doughty Street International-The Hague headed up by John Jones. September 2014  HERE

 

John Jones stumbles?

Point Five:  On the discourse of Saif’s innocence, consider the serious misstep by John Jones.  Does he know something about Saif’s innocence, we do not?  Consider an expert in ICC litigation, and posed to ‘head up’ the recently announced Doughty Street International-The Hague, set to open in September, Mr. Jones seem to stumbled about resolution 1970 and ‘Saif’ assets’ when questioned in The Telegraph article:

“If Saif Gaddafi were transferred to the ICC, as the ICC has ordered, then he might be in a position to apply for a de-blocking of his assets to allow payment of his reasonable legal expenses,” said Mr Jones in an email sent on Friday. “But Libya refuses to surrender him to the court, and the UK, from what I have seen, is doing nothing to put pressure on Libya to surrender Saif Gaddafi to the court. So again the UK bears a measure of blame for this situation.”

In a subsequent email sent on Saturday, Mr Jones suggested that Gaddafi did not actually have assets abroad.

Mr Jones said: “I should just say, further to this subject, I have been informed that Saif Gaddafi has no assets or secret bank accounts anywhere in the world which could be de-blocked. If you don’t have any evidence or reliable information that he does have any assets … it would be irresponsible to assert that he does.”

As the Libyan proverb says, “What is on your mind will ruin your answer.”  Does Mr. Jones know something about Saif re-acquiring ‘his assets’ that we do not?

Anoud Abdulla Senussi The Independent

Anoud Abdulla Senussi The Independent HERE

 

 

‘Skulduggery’ at The International Criminal Court

Point Six: We note that others, including Robert Fisk, has speculated that the ICC Chambers has been playing political games.  We concur, but with the most unlikely source, Senussi Lead Counsel Ben Emmerson.  We say, if Ben Emmerson is involved with an article that states that ‘There’s a spot of skulduggery going on in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague’, it is good enough for us.

Considered a black box with all the secrets of between MI6, the CIA and Gaddafi’s security regime, it has been suggested that Abdulla Senussi’s trial could divulge all those embarrassing secrets. Reasoning is: best to leave to him and all his secrets in Libya.  The Independent’s article:

There’s a spot of skulduggery going on in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Not to put too fine a point upon it, a lot of questions are being asked about why the worshipful judges have, at least publicly, demanded a trial in Europe for Saif el-Islam al-Gaddafi – son of the late Muammar – but have blithely accepted that the dictator’s ruthless security boss, Abdullah al-Senussi, should be tried in the militia-haunted chaos of Libya.

Was this because the court didn’t want to upset Libya’s anarchic authorities by insisting that it try both men at The Hague? Or is there an ulterior, far more sinister purpose: to prevent Senussi blurting out details in The Hague of his cosy relationship with Western security services when he was handling relations between Gaddafi, the CIA and MI6?

Finally, as Senussi Lead Counsel Ben Emmerson concluded:

‘The ICC had ruled that Libya was “not fit to try Saif Gaddafi”, said Mr Emmerson. “The same standard must equally apply to Mr Senussi who is charged in the same case with Saif Gaddafi in Libya.”

We agree with only a slight modification.

‘The ICC had ruled that Libya was “fit to try Abdulla Senussi”, said The New Libya Report. ‘The same standard must equally apply to Mr. Gaddafi who is charged in the same case with Abdulla Senussi in Libya.’

 

Parts of this Op/ED article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Interested in Libya’s ICC legal issues?   Please consult our other articles:  HERE

George Clooney’s Friends-Amal Alamuddin, Samantha Power and R2P: Implications for Libya

Doughty Streets’ Amal Alamuddin, John Jones, and Wayne Jordash and ALL Their Libyan Clients

The ICC, Abdulla Senussi and the Elusive Truth

Amal Alamuddin: Dismissing Libya’s Legitimate Legal Right Since 2012.

 Matrix Chambers’ Conflict of Interest with Their Clients: Libya & Abdulla Senussi

An Open Letter to Abdel Hakim Belhadj and the Libyan People

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: