Public Prosecutor’s Office (OTP) and Colombian government reach agreement Cooperation agreement Thursday, effectively ending the ICC’s 17-year preliminary investigation into Colombia’s alleged war crimes.
The agreement, which was concluded by the prosecutor, Mr. Karim AA Khan QC and chairman Iván Duque Marquez focuses on the principle of complementarity and recognizes Colombia’s national efforts to end impunity for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The principle of complementarity is an essential pillar in the exercise of the jurisdiction of the court. article 1 of the Rome Statute provides that the court only compliments the efforts of the domestic courts. In addition, article 17 states that the tribunal will only exercise jurisdiction if the state that has jurisdiction over it is unwilling or unable to prosecute.
The agreement recognizes Colombia’s willingness and ability to prosecute. This decision is taken in light, among other things, of the 2016 peace agreement between the FARC-EP and the government, which has constitutional status, as well as the various transitional institutions established to end impunity for these crimes. The agreement therefore marks the closure of the preliminary examination. However, it may be subject to future review. The government, for its part, has undertaken to support the efforts of the various institutions, including through budgetary allocations. The Office of the Prosecutor, on the other hand, is committed to supporting Colombia’s accountability efforts.
The Office of the Prosecutor opened in June 2004 a Preliminary investigation on the situation in Colombia, and in 2012, it determined that Colombian government forces, FARC-EP-ELN and paramilitaries had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The agreement is for an indefinite period and can be terminated by either party with three months’ notice.