Suriname: independent observation mission to the trial of President Desiré Delano Bouterse
The purpose of the mission, which took place between 8 and 12 May 2012, was to observe the trial of President Bouterse and 24 Others by a Military Court in Boxel, Suriname, and surrounding context.
This is a report from an independent trial observation mission carried out by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), based in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the mission, which took place between 8 and 12 May 2012, was to observe the trial of President Bouterse and 24 Others by a Military Court in Boxel, Suriname, and surrounding context.
In accordance with rigorous methods of assessment, the ICJ independent trial observer, a lawyer/academic of British nationality, made an assessment of the social and political context in which the trial has been taking place. Based on numerous interviews and separate, independent sources of information, it gradually became clear that the atmosphere in the country had a certain bearing on the trial. This atmosphere certainly had positive dimensions, but there were also aspects of concern. Following a brief summary of the judgement, the ICJ evaluated the Court’s judgement handed down on 11 May 2012, in order to assess compliance with judicial guarantees of fair trial and due process, in accordance with internationally recognised standards. The ICJ also considered the procedural implications and associated human rights consequences of the judgement itself.
Finally, in light of the ICJ’s assessment of facts, and its legal assessment of the 11 May 2012 judgement, the ICJ offers conclusions, as well as recommendations to the Government of Suriname, the Judiciary, the media and diplomatic delegations.
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