Britain’s Karim Asad Ahmad Khan has been sworn in as the new Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
The 51-year-old Khan is a specialist in international criminal law and international human rights law and currently serves as an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. He says as the new ICC chief prosecutor, he’ll reach out to nations that are not members of the court and try to hold trials in countries where crimes are committed.
“The priority for me, and I believe that’s the principle of the Rome Statute, is not to focus so much on where trials take place, but to ensure that the quest for accountability and inroads on impunity are made,” Khan said. “The Hague itself should be a city of last resort,” he said. “Wherever possible, we should be trying to have trials in the country or in the region.”
In the past, he has defended clients at international courts including former Liberian President Charles Taylor and Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto. ICC prosecutors dropped charges against Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta of involvement in deadly post-election violence in their country.
Khan succeeds Fatou Bensouda, whose nine-year mandate at the head of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor came to an end on June 15.