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Karim Khan: From Ruto’s and Charles Taylor’s defender to ICC prosecutor

By Morris Kiruga
Posted on Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:49

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto (C) smiles as he sits in the courtroom before his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague 10 September 2013. To the left is defence counsel Karim Khan. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

British lawyer Karim Ahmad Khan, who represented Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC), will take over from current ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in June.

The election of the 51-year-old lawyer on 12 February settled the process of finding the Hague-based court’s third prosecutor, which begun in 2019 and dragged through 2020 and early 2021 as the assembly of state parties failed to agree on a candidate by consensus.

Both Bensouda, a Gambian who had previously served as the court’s deputy prosecutor since 2004, and her predecessor, Argentine lawyer Louis Moreno Ocampo, were elected by consensus. Khan was instead elected via secret ballot, after intense lobbying from both the United Kingdom and Kenya, according to the Guardian.

No consensus