Grenada joins world crimes court club

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The tiny Caribbean island nation of Grenada on Tuesday officially became a state party to the International Criminal Court's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, the court said in a statement.

"In a symbolic act the president of the court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, presented the ambassador of Grenada, Stephen Fletcher with a special edition of the Rome Statute," the Hague-based ICC said.

"The Rome Statute took effect in Grenada on 1 August 2011," it added.

Grenada submitted its "instrument of ratification" on May 19, the ICC said on its website.

The ICC was created through the adoption of its founding Rome Statute at a diplomatic conference in Italy in July 1998, and started operating in The Hague in 2002. To date, 116 countries have signed up, 31 of them from Africa -- the biggest group, it said on its website.

The ICC is the world's only independent, permanent tribunal with the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

© 2011 AFP

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