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France issues arrest warrants for Djibouti officials in 1995 murder probe

[JURIST] France has issued arrest warrants for two high-ranking officials of the east African country of Djibouti [CIA backgrounder] in connection with the investigation into the alleged assassination of a French judge in 1995. French officials suspect Djibouti state prosecutor Djama Souleiman and security chief Hassan Said of interfering with witnesses in the ongoing investigation. The judge's death was originally ruled a suicide before French officials alleged he was the victim of an assassination.

In February, Djibouti asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] to arbitrate a dispute between the two countries [JURIST report] regarding France's investigation of the alleged 1995 murder. Djibouti maintains that France has no right to summon Djibouti officials who qualify for diplomatic immunity. In August, France consented to ICJ jurisdiction [JURIST report] over the case, which has been placed on the ICJ case list [press release]. Djibouti appointed Souleiman as its Agent in the ICJ-arbitrated dispute [press release]. BBC News has more.

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