Luis Moreno Ocampo on WHYS

On Friday, Alicia from the WHYS team will be travelling to International Criminal Court to visit its prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo. He’s kindly agreed to take questions for the whole hour, and you can either leave them here, or email me your comment and your phone number if you’d to come on air. Here’s some more info…

Luis Moreno Ocampo has been in the job since 2003, and for details of his career before then this profile is a good start.

But I’m guessing the majority of your questions will concern his current job, and the ICC. It’s become involved in raising concerns about prosecutions that have followed post-election violence in Kenya. Then of course there’s the arrest warrant on Sudan’s President. It will soon begin the war crimes trail of Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, and back in 2004 passed comment on events in the Middle East.

These are just four examples of many.

Then there is the issue of the ICC’s very existence and its jurisdiction.

Whatever subject relating to his work, Luis Moreno Ocampo is happy to speak with you, so please start posting your questions.

54 Responses to “Luis Moreno Ocampo on WHYS”

  1. 1 nora
    March 16, 2010 at 17:41

    Thank you, thank you for something to look forward to. I would like to ask him about any recollections he has on the case of Raymundo Gleyser who was disappeared in Argentina in 1975. Raymundo was a filmmaker whose feature film The Traitors had just opened in the US. I worked for his US distributor Tricon Films and became very close to him. We searched and searched for him after he was disappeared and our lives changed and the ICC is in a way a work product of the grief over many fine people lost in the Dirty War and in other dirty wars.

  2. 2 Jaime Saldarriaga
    March 16, 2010 at 17:54

    Mr.Morena Ocampo: How sucessful or effective has the ICC been so far?

  3. 3 Tommaso Debenedetti
    March 16, 2010 at 18:01

    Mr Morena Ocampo, world countries are valid contrtibutors to your work or some countries works against your action? Can you say the names of countries and organizations working against you?

  4. 4 Ibrahim in UK
    March 16, 2010 at 18:24

    Is there an international definition of what constitutes a crime? Is it fixed or democratically dynamic? What is the threshold for how serious a crime must be before it can be investigated?
    Are signatories to the ICC thereby also accepting of these definitions?

    I understand that ICC decisions are only binding on the signatories, so the ICC has no jurisdiction in countries like China, Sudan, US and Israel who are not signatories. If a case is referred by the UN to the ICC, is the decision binding on the UN and UN members?

    Most of today’s conflicts are between states and militant groups or territories Are the militant groups also subject to the same criteria and jurisdiction as states? Does the ICC give militant groups or territories the authorisation to become signatories?

  5. 5 T
    March 16, 2010 at 18:43

    How does he feel about some countries essentially making a mockery of intl. laws that they initially agreed to?

  6. 6 T
    March 16, 2010 at 18:52

    What does he think about Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder not overturning the Patriot Act in the States?

  7. 7 steve
    March 16, 2010 at 19:15

    @ T

    The patriot act is a domestic matter. We thank God, don’t have a world government. And how can a US President or his Attorney General, “overturn” an act of legislation when that’s not the role of the executory branch of the US, which is the ENFORCE the laws that the legislative branch passes.

  8. 8 Kenneth Ingle
    March 16, 2010 at 21:22

    Can an International Criminal Court have any real value, when the very countries which break international law quite regularly, do not co-operate?

  9. 9 Tom D Ford
    March 17, 2010 at 01:35

    Is there any chance left of bringing former US president G W Bush and VP Dick Cheney to justice for their War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity against the people of Iraq, either in the ICC or any other International Court?

  10. 10 steve
    March 17, 2010 at 12:57

    @ Tom D Ford

    And Obama as well given that he’s currently presiding over that war?

  11. 11 patti in cape coral
    March 17, 2010 at 13:07

    I would like to echo Jaime Saldarriaga’s question, how do you measure success or effectiveness and do you feel you are reaching it?

  12. 12 dan
    March 17, 2010 at 14:14

    The view from the level of ordinary people is that the court is so encumbered and politicized that trials drag on for decades and people’s lives have run out before the court can complete its work.
    Why are you so moribund?

  13. 13 nora
    March 17, 2010 at 17:42

    For the detractors ofthe court, the existence of the court makes greedy dictators think twice. US citizens would have had some comfort under Bush over waterboarding had we been signatories.

    Have any of the child sex abuse cases come to the court due to the international nature of the church?

  14. 14 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    March 18, 2010 at 07:30

    I would like to ask Mr. Moreno-Ocampo three simple but somehow related questions.

    1. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, does it bother you that the ICC is increasingly being seen as a Kangaroo court targeting individuals in developing countries particularly those in Africa who do not happen to have the protection of powerful nations?

    2. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, does it not bother you that powerful countries such as the USA and China declined to subscribe to the jurisdiction of the ICC yet as in the case of Kenya, the USA appears keen to see the court take action against alleged sponsors of the 2007/2008 chaos?

    3. Israel has been accused of wrong doing verging on crimes within the jurisdiction og the ICC. Why is it that you are not following the matter as enthusiastically as when something happens in Niger, Sudan or Bosnia?

  15. 15 Qudratullah
    March 18, 2010 at 16:46

    Can we do something for the humans at Guantanamo?

  16. 16 Manu Boafo
    March 18, 2010 at 17:01

    1. Mr. Ocampo, has the ICC ever delivered a virdict that you you thought was a bit harsh?
    2. How does the ICC define CRIME since we live in a multi-cultural and multi-faceted world?

  17. 17 steve
    March 18, 2010 at 17:26

    They ICC is concerned with post election violence in countries like Kenya, what about Countries where there are no elections for the top spot, like Egypt, Syria, and Libya? Where they have basically a dictator for life or until the next coup d’etat or the president for life gets assiasinated?

  18. March 18, 2010 at 19:18

    Would the ICC be the appropriate court of jurisdiction for trial of Israeli leaders for war crimes in Gaza last year, prima facie evidence of which has been documented by the Goldstone commission, the U.S. National Lawyers Guild, and other investigating bodies?

    Since Israel is not a signatory to the ICC, how could such prosecution and subsequent enforcement of an ICC judgment proceed?

  19. 19 JanB
    March 19, 2010 at 02:31

    Mr. Ocampo: which laws does the ICC work with, are they enshrined in the UN charter or do member states get to vote on the laws? I know everyone is asking the same question but why does the prosecution of known war criminals take so long while the evidence is so clear? How come their lawyers get to pull all kinds of delay tactics and get to tell the judges the most absurd stories while criminals tried by national courts get convicted much quicker, is there some kind of intrinsic flaw in the ICC’s system that makes it much less effective than national courts?

  20. 20 Ekohl Eden, Kampala,Uganda
    March 19, 2010 at 09:22

    What is the ICC planning to do with Countries who are not signitories to the ICC treaty but continue to commmit international crime with impiunity?

  21. 21 @guykaks
    March 19, 2010 at 10:04

    My question to Mr. Ocampo:what next to the perpetrators of post election violence in kenya?
    Are you losing ground on the cases?

  22. March 19, 2010 at 13:45

    Dear Mr. Ocampo.
    I must say I respect the good work you have been doing especially the arrest warrant you issued for President El-Bashir of Sudan. But El-Bashir has picked his route carefully since your warrant was issued. He has avoided countries that have ratified the statutes establishing the ICC. Now if he continues like that how are you ever going to arrest him? Secondly, since you have no police to effect the arrest, do you trust the national police in the countries that have ratified the statutes to arrest Mr. El-Bashir for the Court?

  23. March 19, 2010 at 14:03

    Mr. Ocampo,
    Are you aware of the repeated fighting including the recent senseless killing of some 500 innocent people in Jos, in Nigeria? If yes, what is your understanding of this conflicts and the role of the Nigerian officers?
    I understand that the Nigerian Coalition on the International Criminal Court (NCICC) has written one or two letters to you drawing your attention to the conflict in Jos. Have you received these letter(s)? Are you likely to send a fact-finding team to Jos anytime soon?

  24. March 19, 2010 at 14:45


    Do you think USA and co. will ever be part of the ICC? If not, how do you plan to tackle any of those who hold an USA passport and committed huge crimes?

  25. March 19, 2010 at 14:50

    Mr. Ocampo we understand you are the strongest prosecutor in the world, that we understand.

    moreover, what i dont understand is that you prosecute minority and leave the superpowers to roam scot free…. we have alot of issues happening with the superpowers but you dont act…. when a poor African country does a mistake you take it to be a political crime…..

    Q. Dont we have political crimes in Superpowers? why havent we heard of prosecutions?

    i believe when African countries will no longer beg for aid and be sufficient and politically run themselves not manourverd the ICC will respect them.

  26. March 19, 2010 at 14:53

    Mr. Ocampo what efforts have you done to bring Felician Kabuga into book/ we understand he carried atrocities in Rwanda and he is going scot free somewhere in the world.

    Q. Dont you believe ICC can be manipulated by the West, to punish African countires?

  27. 27 T
    March 19, 2010 at 15:01

    Is being denied health care a violation of intl. law?

  28. 28 María, Buenos Aires
    March 19, 2010 at 15:21

    Dr. Moreno.

    How do you feel when all what you’ve been fighting for can be dissolved with one authoritarian decistion, such as the one of our former president Carlos Menem towards the convicted military government?
    Do you find political impediments frustrating? Or they encourage you to continue your fight? How often do you find these impediments?

  29. March 19, 2010 at 15:28

    What efforts do you make to attract new signatories,as 108 does not look that impressive to my mind.Do you have any power,if signatories fail to arrest.

  30. March 19, 2010 at 15:55

    Hello WHY,
    Thanks a lot for putting us in contact with Mr. Ocampo of the ICC.
    I hope you would continue to put us in contact with high level headed personalities like this man so as to allow us interact with them positively about the burning issues we are and continue to face.

  31. 31 Emily Oberholtzer
    March 19, 2010 at 16:01

    Mr. Ocampo Moreno,

    I would like to know how you and the rest of the ICC perceive President Obama’s stance on the court. As a Senator he remarked, “The United States should cooperate with ICC investigations in a way that reflects American sovereignty and promotes our national security interests.”

    What do you think he means by “cooperate”, “sovereignty”, and “national security interests” ? Does this refer to our ability to ability to commit acts of terror and call them peacekeeping missions?

  32. 32 nora
    March 19, 2010 at 16:07

    What would you want people to learn out of the Argentine experience?

  33. 33 alassan jallow
    March 19, 2010 at 17:39

    Hi Mr. Ocampo, I highly appreciate what you are doing in your court, but please can you tell me if your court is an international court judging war criminals all over the world, or a court for African leaders? Thank.

  34. 34 Tracy in Portland, OR
    March 19, 2010 at 17:39

    Mr Ocampo.

    Does the ICC have any interest in Henry Kissenger over his involvement in Chile and Argentina during the “Dirty War”?

    And does the ICC have an eye on the actions of the decision makers of the US over the start up of the war in Iraq, the human rights violation at Guatanamo, and the rendition policy of kidnapping and torturing or passing “terror suspects” to other countries to torture?

  35. 35 simon moodie
    March 19, 2010 at 17:56

    in the case of israel would it not be better to issue arrest warrants despite their not being signatories, if the court is to be seen as fair & open prosecutions should be seen as impartial. at the moment the major continuing crimes seem to be ignored, eg bush & blair for iraq, israel for gaza & the continuing persecution of the palestinians etc etc. simon florence italy

  36. 36 Tom D Ford
    March 19, 2010 at 18:09

    @ 24 Martín Alejandro Carmona Selva
    March 19, 2010 at 14:45


    “Do you think USA and co. will ever be part of the ICC? ”

    The US was Signed on but Bush Un-Signed our nation so he could could commit that war crime against the people of Iraq and get away with it without prosecution.

  37. 37 nora
    March 19, 2010 at 18:23

    Tracy mentions Kissinger…it was always my hope to see him stand in the dock with Pinochet and his other nasty friends. But he is old and frail and the newer evils are so pressing. How do you balance older claims with newer ones?

  38. 38 Alan in AZ
    March 19, 2010 at 18:33

    What a great opportunity!

    I’d really like to know the exact jurisdiction of the ICC! How can it be broadened to deal with countries that haven’t signed on with the ICC.

    Is there an ICC police force or does the ICC rely on a countries police to extradite a potential criminal?

  39. 39 Tom D Ford
    March 19, 2010 at 18:34

    Invading another country is not a crime?

    It that only under the ICC or is it not a crime under any international law?

    I thought that the Allies at Nuremberg defined a War of Aggression as a War Crime and that then became US and International Law.

  40. March 19, 2010 at 18:37

    Why is the United States so vehemently opposed to the International Criminal Court? After all the United States prides itself on fair justice and the elaborate confirmation processes of appointing Justices. One just has to look at the confirmation process and grilling of Justice Sotomayor before she was confirmed!

  41. 41 Tom D Ford
    March 19, 2010 at 18:41

    Has the ICC considered setting up a website somewhat like the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for people to post information about past or ongoing Crimes, to help out?

    How can we, The Human Family, help to stop Criminals and help bring them to justice?

  42. 42 Tom D Ford
    March 19, 2010 at 18:54

    No, I am not Tom Ford of Gucci.

    I admire him though for being a great clothing designer.

  43. 43 Tom D Ford
    March 19, 2010 at 18:59

    Thanks, Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, for your service to humanity!

  44. 44 steve
    March 19, 2010 at 19:04

    @ Tom

    So why aren’t you up in arms about Russia then? They invaded Georgia and took s. ossetia from Georgia. Or do you only have problems with wars if it’s the US/Israel/etc engaging in wars?

  45. 45 tekkooo
    March 19, 2010 at 19:20

    Dear Luis Moreno Ocampo,

    The International Criminal Court is considered by many nations as instrument in the hands of the West to settle account with some countries (mostly, Africans and Muslims).
    You were very happy to point your finger towards the President of Sudan, accusing him of committing all kinds of atrocities and war crimes in Darfur. Although Sudan was never signatory to the Roman treaty, nevertheless, with the blessing and backing of the West and the international media you forced this indictment.
    Sudan had ever been targeted by the West (mainly USA and UK) for the last two decades. USA have put Sudan under economic suctions (economic terrorism – affecting all the people), since this government took power (in a military coup) about two decades ago, citing that Sudan government harbouring terrorism— though no concrete evidences were ever put on the table by the American governments to substantiate such allegations. In another episode; a simple pharmaceutical factory producing drugs for malaria and similar drugs was destroyed by a cruise missile during the Clinton administration in 1998. These are just few of the so many ongoing aggression episodes against Sudan.
    The Africans and the wider world are quite aware about all these enmities and they know the intention behind them; firstly, separate the Darfur region and blunder its resources – it is claimed that Darfur is rich in mineral resources; uranium and oil.
    One other important reason is that the West is fighting China in Sudan— Sudan became the gateway for China to sub Saharan Africa.

  46. 46 Tom D Ford
    March 19, 2010 at 19:30

    @ Steve

    I am a US citizen and I would like to see my United States clean up our act and take out the Human Garbage like Bush and Cheney. I can do something about the US by voting the Criminal Conservatives out of office.

    But I can’t vote Putin out of office.

    Though I can advocate for an effective ICC that would be able to bring Israel, Russia, and US leaders to Justice.

  47. 47 tekkooo
    March 19, 2010 at 19:36

    In-order for the ICC to become credible; first, and foremost, let us have fairness, equality and balanced standard in the international arena. As long as the West suctions double standard, believe me no appropriate actions against any alleged perpetrator would ever come about.

  48. 48 Alan in AZ
    March 19, 2010 at 20:05

    I’m with Tom! We need the ICC to help clean up the big countries that think they are immune.

  49. 49 nora
    March 20, 2010 at 00:04

    This was a great show. Thanks for all the preparation, video, a job well done.

  50. March 20, 2010 at 09:27

    as long as america doesnt ratify international criminal court what future does it have on criminal matters worldwide ..is it a toothless tiger body at present ?

  51. 51 Tom D Ford
    March 20, 2010 at 17:56

    I was astounded that it is not a crime to invade a country.

    I wonder where in the range it becomes a non-crime. Surely it is a crime to go into a country and kill one person? Surely it is a crime to go into a country and blow up one bridge or power line? But where does it change, is it OK if you kill ten people, destroy ten bridges? Kill one hundred people or destroy one hundred pieces of infrastructure? How many people do you have to kill to make it into the Non-Crime range?

    What a strange world of definitions of crimes?!

    Frankly I agree with the definitions negotiated and agreed upon at Nuremberg, “The Nuremberg Principles”.

  52. March 22, 2010 at 08:42

    What is the ICC doing about the Goldstone report on the Gaza war?

  53. 53 bello usman shehu
    March 22, 2010 at 16:58

    my question is that was it meant to be that other conutries that didnt sign the treaty with the ICC supposed to be interfering in any way in the tribunal processe and other crime related matters regarding ther countries? thanks

  54. 54 Michelle Katami
    March 23, 2010 at 11:22

    Mr. Ocampo, please update Kenyans on the latest from ICC over the post election violence perpetrators? Is there a likely there people who caused blood shed in Kenya will go free since no action will be taken against them by the ICC? Can you assure Kenyans that these people will be brought to book since a local tribunal will never take any action on the politicians. The only justice Kenyans are asking for is for the ICC to pull up its sleeves and bring the post election violence masterminds to book..Lets wait and see/

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