ICC prosecutor: no charges in Israeli flotilla raid

ICC prosecutor: no charges in Israeli flotilla raid

[JURIST] The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], Fatou Bensouda, said Thursday there is no reasonable basis [report, PDF] to continue the investigation of a 2010 raid by the Israeli Defense Forces on flotilla vessels headed for Gaza. While the prosecutor said that there was a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes … were committed” when Israeli forces intercepted the Mavi Marmara, any potential charges that arise from the matter would not be “of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the court” as required by the Rome Statute [text]. Bensouda said [AP report] that per the statute, the ICC must prioritize large-scale war crimes or those carried out as part of a plan or policy. The court, which announced last year it would open a preliminary investigation [JURIST report] into the matter, declined to take further legal action The complaint was originally filed by Comoros, as the Mavi Marmara was a Comoros flagged ship, and lawyers for the African nation have stated they will not give up on the case.

The May 2010 raid has received much international attention over the last four years. In May a Turkish court called for international arrest warrants [JURIST report] for four former Israeli military chiefs involved in the interception. In 2012 a Turkish court opened the trial [JURIST report] in absentia for the former Israeli military commanders accused of killing nine Turkish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara as it attempted to pass through the Gaza blockade. The UN in 2011 criticized [JURIST report] Israel for using excessive and unreasonable force during the interception. The UN Security Council called [JURIST report] for a “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation” into the raid in June 2010.