ICJ regrets decision not to extradite Pinochet but hails advance made against impunity

The ICJ finds the decision by British Home Secretary Jack Straw not to extradite former dictator Pinochet to Spain to be extremely regrettable.

The ICJ urges the Government of Chile to ensure that it honours its international commitment to put Pinochet and other alleged perpetrators on trial for crimes against humanity in accordance with international standards of fairness. To this end, the ICJ calls on Chile to: 1) repeal and invalidate the 1978 Amnesty Law; 2) ensure that Pinochet and others be tried by civilian courts; and 3) lift Pinochet’s parliamentary immunity.

The ICJ believes the mere fact that Pinochet was arrested and his claim to immunity rejected by the highest judicial body in the United Kingdom, signals the beginning of the end of impunity for heads of States and other government officials who commit crimes against humanity, and sets an historic precedent in the combat for accountability of such perpetrators.

The ICJ renews its call on States to speedily ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was adopted in Rome in July 1998. The ICJ takes this opportunity to remind war criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity, wherever they are, in countries big or small, that they are liable to prosecution anywhere in the world, and at any given time, by virtue of the principle of universal jurisdiction.

NewsWeb stories