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Venezuela questions “impartiality” of the ICC in investigation for crimes against humanity

Caracas. Venezuela questioned on Tuesday the impartiality of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose prosecutor’s office is investigating the government of President Nicolรกs Maduro for alleged crimes against humanity.

In a formal brief with arguments against the process, the Venezuelan authorities denounced “the proven links of the ICC prosecutor’s office with non-governmental organizations that provided information against the national authorities in this matter, which calls into question the due impartiality and objectivity of said court,” according to a statement.

He also spoke of “the various irregularities and violations of due process committed by the ICC prosecutor’s office, including the defenselessness to which the Venezuelan State has been subjected throughout the process.”

This Tuesday is the deadline for Venezuela to send its arguments against the investigation, formally opened in 2021.

“Venezuela provided abundant information that shows the political nature of the process initiated at the ICC in 2018, as part of the ‘regime change’ strategy promoted by the Government of the United States of America,” according to the statement.

The ICC, based in The Hague, is investigating alleged abuses committed during the repression of anti-government demonstrations in 2017 that left some 100 dead.

The Venezuelan authorities insist that the violations of human rights were punished, prosecuted and prosecuted by their own judicial system, although opponents and experts maintain that the sentences against law enforcement officers were only issued to avoid trial.

Victims of alleged crimes against humanity have until March 7 to provide testimony. On the 31st of that month, prosecutor Karim Khan must present a report in response to the allegations of the Venezuelan State.

Starting in April, the Pre-Trial Chamber will decide on the continuation of the process.

The ICC and Venezuela signed an agreement in 2021 in which Caracas promised to take measures so that the body could work. In March 2022, the investigators opened an office in the Venezuelan capital. A month later, Khan refused to postpone the investigation.

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