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ICC deputy prosecutor to investigate bloody opposition crackdown

The International Criminal Court has said it will send a deputy prosecutor to Guinea on Jan. 19, at the invitation of the ruling junta, to investigate the crackdown on an opposition rally that killed at least 156 people in Conakry in September 2009.


AFP - The International Criminal Court said Thursday a deputy prosecutor would travel to Guinea to assess if crimes against humanity occurred at a military assault on an opposition rally in September.

The United Nations says at least 156 people were killed or are missing after the assault by forces loyal to coup leader Moussa Dadis Camara on an opposition protest in a stadium in the capital Conakry on September 28.

Deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was expected to travel to Guinea on January 19 at the invitation of the Guinean authorities, special advisor to the prosecutor Beatrice Le Fraper told AFP.

"The objective is to determine if the crimes committed on September 28 were crimes against humanity," she said. "The Guinean authorities have invited us to go to Guinea."

The authorities had indicated they wanted to take action against anyone who might have committed such crimes, she said.

The ICC said in October it had launched a "preliminary examination" of the September 28 violence to determine whether the alleged crimes fell within the court's jurisdiction.

The junta says 56 people were killed while rights groups say that at least 157 people were killed and more than 1,200 hurt, including women who were raped by soldiers.

Guinea is a state party to the founding statute of the court, the world's only permanent tribunal for the adjudication of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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