ICC pre-trial chamber authorizes start of probe into drug war killings

MANILA, Philippines — The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved the start of the probe into the crimes against humanity cases filed against President Rodrigo Duterte in connection with the drug war killings, the ICC announced on its website on Wednesday.
The request for authorization to investigate the case against Duterte was filed last June 14 by Fatou Bensouda, who was then the ICC chief prosecutor. She filed the request as provided for by the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC on July 1, 2002.

The probe will cover crimes committed from Nov. 1, 2011, to March 16, 2019. In 2011, Duterte was vice mayor of Davao City. He had to give way to her daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, for the top position due to term limits. He was elected as president in the May 2016 elections.

“The Chamber found that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, noting that specific legal element of the crime against humanity of murder under Article 7(1)(a) of the Statute has been met with respect to the killings committed throughout the Philippines between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign, as well as with respect to the killings in the Davao area between 1 November 2011 and 30 June 2016,” the ICC said in its decision.
The decision was signed by Presiding Judge Péter Kovács, Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, and Judge María del Socorro Flores Liera.

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