International Court of Justice rejects Belgian arrest warrant for Congolese official

14 February 2002

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today rejected an arrest warrant issued April 2000 by Belgium against the then-Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today rejected an arrest warrant issued April 2000 by Belgium against the then-Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Court found that the international circulation by Belgium of the arrest warrant against Abdulaye Yerodia Ndombasi failed to respect the immunity from criminal jurisdiction and the inviolability which the incumbent Minister for Foreign Affairs enjoyed under international law. The ICJ also ruled that Belgium must cancel the arrest warrant.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had brought the case to the ICJ in October 2000 in an attempt to block Belgium’s international arrest warrant.

Belgium was seeking Mr. Ndombasi’s extradition for alleged crimes constituting “grave violations of international humanitarian law.”

 

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