ICC prosecutor ordered to reopen Gaza flotilla case

The Hague, Sept 2 (AFP/APP):The International Criminal Court on Monday ordered the tribunal’s prosecutor for a second time to reconsider whether to press charges over a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza in 2010.

In the latest step in a long-running legal battle at the court in The Hague, appeals judges told prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to decide by December whether to reopen the case.

“The prosecutor is directed to reconsider her decision by December 2, 2019,” presiding appeals judge Solomy Balungi Bossa told the court, adding that a majority of judges had backed the move, with two dissentions.

Nine Turkish citizens died in May 2010 when Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara, among eight ships trying to break a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. One more died in hospital in 2014.

The case was first filed in 2013 by the Comoros, the Indian Ocean nation where the ship was registered.

Bensouda said in 2014 that she would not prosecute Israel over the incident, saying it was “not of sufficient gravity”, which means the case could be determined as inadmissible before the ICC.

Bensouda again affirmed the decision in 2017 after judges said she must take another look at the case. Israel itself is not a party to the court but its nationals could still be prosecuted.

But in a fresh setback for Bensouda after a number of high-profile failures, appeals judges ruled on Monday that she must once more examine whether to bring charges before the Hague-based court.

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