ICC repeats prosecutor has to reconsider Gaza flotilla probe

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2015 12:43 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Judges at the International Criminal Court reiterated Friday that the court's prosecutor has to reconsider her decision not to investigate the storming by Israel of an aid flotilla heading to Gaza.

The decision means Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will now have to look at the politically charged case again and decide whether to open a full investigation, which could potentially lead to charges against Israelis involved in the storming.

Bensouda last year declined a request by the Indian Ocean island nation Comoros to investigate the May 31, 2010, storming of a vessel in the flotilla, which was sailing under a Comoros flag.

She said war crimes may have been committed on the Mavi Marmara ship, where eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists were wounded by Israeli commandos, but ruled the case wasn't serious enough to merit an ICC probe.

Judges first asked her to reconsider in July, saying she made "material errors in her determination of the gravity" of the case.

Bensouda appealed and her appeal was dismissed Friday by a 3-2 majority in the five judge appeals chamber. The majority ruled that the appeal was inadmissible under the court's rules.

Lawyers representing Comoros sought a review of Bensouda's original rejection, saying that, "the interests of justice and fairness, which are the core of the ICC's mandate, strongly militate in favor of the Prosecutor reconsidering her decision."

Israel is not a member of the court.