FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, June 15, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- I am deeply concerned about the detention by the Libyan government of four ICC staff while on mission in Libya. Intimidation of staff members of the institutions of the international criminal justice system while on official duty strikes at the heart of that system. The success of the Special Court for Sierra Leone owes much to the co-operation of the international community in respecting the Court's mandate, and accommodating the necessary privileges of the Court's personnel and the lawyers who practice before it.
The privileges and immunities of the detained ICC staff are essential to the performance of their mandated functions, as ordered by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on 27 April 2012, consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 1970. They must be permitted to exercise these functions without fear, harassment or intimidation.
I therefore join the Presidents of the ICC and the ICTY in calling for the immediate release of the ICC staff members.