Karim Khan has been voted in as the new International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor for a term of 9 years.
British human rights lawyer Karim Khan was elected Friday as the new prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a politically daunting position whose incumbent was slapped with US sanctions.
Khan, 50, previously led a special UN investigation into crimes by the Islamic State extremist group in which he pressed for a trial on the lines of Nuremberg for Nazi war criminals. More controversially, he also represented late Libyan leader Muamar Kadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam. Khan will be only the third prosecutor of the ICC, taking over in June from Gambian-born Fatou Bensouda, who has outraged Washington through her investigations into the Afghanistan war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
ICC nations failed to reach a consensus choice, triggering a vote in New York among four candidates in which Khan won on the second ballot with 72 votes.
The United Nations has 193 member states but only 123 are in the ICC, with the United States, Israel, China and Russia notably absent.
Khan will take on a bulging file of difficult cases at a tribunal whose legitimacy is constantly under attack.
“There are many places where the ICC could take action,” one UN envoy said Friday on condition of anonymity, adding he hoped the voting would not stretch over several days.
“We don’t need less ICC but more ICC,” he said