ICC budget cuts halt probes into mass rapes

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The International Criminal Court ICC may be forced to halt investigations into mass murders and rapes in Libya and Ivory Coast because of budget cutbacks, chief prosecutor José Luis Moreno-Ocampo has warned.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo was speaking at the Assembly of States Parties at the ICC’s headquarters, an annual meeting of the 120 member countries. The 2012 budget dominated the agenda at New York.

Economic crisis The main contributors to the court –Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy – are pressing for cuts to the prosecutors' budget in a vote to be held Monday.

They say they cannot uphold the court’s request for 120 million euros because of the economic crisis in their own countries. The contributing nations want to bring back the budget to 104 million euros. Mr Moreno-Ocampo had sought an extra 1.5 million euros for Libya investigations and 1.7 million euros for Ivory Coast.

No mass rapes and killings probes Mr Moreno-Ocampo said he may have to halt probes into alleged mass rapes and killings by Muammer Kadhafi's forces in Libya and by former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo.

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