National Prosecutions


Colombia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of a former commander of the Marxist FARC rebel group, the latest development in a legal saga concerning his detention and possible extradition to the United States. Seuxis Paucias Hernandez was one of 10 members of the FARC set to take up congressional seats guaranteed through 2026 by the peace deal, but was arrested before being sworn in. The Supreme Court issued a statement that because he is recognized as a lawmaker, his case must be heard by the Court.


A Gambian military court on Monday sentenced seven soldiers to nine years in jail for plotting to overthrow President Adama Barrow, and handed a three-year prison term to another.

The sentences relate to events in 2017 after the ouster of strongman Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the West African country with an iron fist for 22 years.The court in Yundum, about 25km from the capital Banjul, acquitted four other soldiers arrested along with the eight who got jail terms.


The arrest and transfer of three men in Libya who are wanted on war crimes charges — including the son of former ruler Muammar Gadaffi — would “send a strong and necessary message” to victims, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told the UN Security Council on May 8. 


Following the surprise release of former Armenian president Robert Kocharyan from jail last weekend, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has accused both his country’s judicial system and the de facto leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh of conspiring against him and his government.


Armenian prosecutors have lodged appeals against court decisions to suspend the trial of former President Robert Kocharian and release him from pretrial detention.

The Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL on May 23 that it had appealed "two rulings by a first-instance court, one on terminating the proceedings in the criminal case in relation to Kocharian and other high-ranking officials, and the other on freeing Kocharian from arrest."


Lawmakers in El Salvador agreed on Thursday to suspend a controversial amnesty bill following an outcry from victims’ families, the United Nations and rights groups.

In July 2016, the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional a 1993 amnesty law that prevented investigation, prosecution and imprisonment of people responsible for war crimes. The amnesty bill proposed community service instead of jail time and would have released former combatants in prison in 2016. Judges ordered Congress to adopt a new law to promote national reconciliation before July 2019. 


A United Nations body has condemned Ministry of Defence plans to grant military veterans amnesty from prosecution for historical offences. The Geneva-based UN Committee Against Torture called on the UK government to “refrain from enacting legislation that would grant amnesty or pardon” to troops accused of ill-treatment. This week the defense secretary, Penny Mordaunt, announced proposals to grant immunity for offences committed more than 10 years ago in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else outside the UK.


A court in Kenya has ordered former President Daniel arap Moi to pay 1.06bn shillings ($10.5m; £8.2m) in compensation to a widow for illegally seizing her land. Mr. Moi transferred to himself 53 acres of land belonging to widow Susan Cheburet Chelugui, the judge ruled. This ruling is hugely significant for Kenya, as there have been numerous cases of land grabbing by high-ranking government officials and wealthy business people over the years, but the victims generally have neither the will nor the money to fight back.


Sudan’s former president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has been charged over his role in the killing of protesters during demonstrations that led to his ouster last month, the nation’s public prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.