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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Read about how he rose from a poor family up to the level that all the African despots apart from President Khama of Botswana fear him and they don't like to hear him. His story goes like this:

The lover of horses who spots a graying beard and Groucho Marx eyebrows has been variously described as prosecutor without borders, the world’s law man and crimes fighter.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo rose from a carpenter to probably the most powerful prosecutor in the world.

As a young man, he funded his legal studies by working as a carpenter after his family faced financial difficulties.

The former carpenter is now at the centre of a judicial battle that might end the careers of key politicians in Kenya, mark a dramatic turning point in the war against impunity and ensure justice for victims of the 2008 post-election violence.

As a young lawyer, he made a name — and fortune — by taking up corruption cases, extensively making use of secret cameras.

During the time, Mr Moreno-Ocampo represented some of Argentina’s wealthiest women in family disputes before he became “the lawyer of the powerful”.

When elected ICC prosecutor in 2003, he promised a “sexy court” that would dispense “swift and telegenic justice”.

Indeed, he cuts the image of a resolute prosecutor and ebullient, but calculating optimistic, ready to bring down the untouchable in his effort to slay impunity.

“When I was elected, some people told me I would only be able to bring frivolous cases,” he said in a Newsweek interview.

In support of his battle against the high and mighty, Mr Moreno-Ocampo has consistently stated that he does not have the “luxury to look away”.

Though he does not have a policeman to enforce his decisions or those of the judges, he has expressed a rare zeal to succeed in his mission.

“I’m a stateless prosecutor — I have more than 100 states under my jurisdiction and zero policemen,” he once told The New York Times.

A former aide says that while not travelling across the world to convince governments to enforce the Rome Statute, the prosecutor stays late in his office “tearing up and re-working texts.”

He has already vowed to use Kenya as a world example on how to fight impunity. And if his record is anything to go by, there is certainly convincing evidence that the violence barons will have their day at the International Criminal Court.

Mr Moreno Ocampo has always been enthusiastic to take on the rich and powerful. But his detractors paint him as an arrogant, ill-informed publicity seeker and high-handed administrator.

“The prosecutor is erratic, so irrational. He uses his charisma in a negative way,” says a former ICC investigator.

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