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Former ICC chief linked to ex-Gaddafi loyalist, Haftar ally: Report

Luis Moreno Ocampo, who became the first ICC prosecutor in 2003, is said to have worked for ex-Gaddafi loyalist Hassan Tatanaki
Luis Moreno Ocampo, former prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), in Washington, DC on 13 September (AFP)

The former chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has come under fire for his alleged ties to a Libyan oil tycoon who is said to be a close ally of controversial military leader Khalifa Haftar.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, a 65-year-old Argentina lawyer who became the first ICC prosecutor in 2003 and pursued the likes of Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army is said to have worked for ex-Gaddafi loyalist and billionaire Hassan Tatanaki, according to an investigation by European Investigations Collaborative (EIC).

Ocampo set up a consultancy advising on issues arising from international conflicts in 2015, and took Tatanaki on as a client, even though he had indicted Gadaffi and his on, Saif, for war crimes back in 2011.

Under a contract seen by the Times, and dated April 2015, Ocampo was to receive $5000 a day for “consultancy services” as well as a fee of $3m to retain his services for three years.

Speaking to Der Spiegel last week, Ocampo - who cut his teeth prosecuting Argentina’s former Right-wing generals - denied any wrongdoing. He said he has been contracted by Tatanaki on how international law could be used to reduce the unrest in Libya.

But as part of a series of leaked emails seen by the Times, Ocampo described the relationship differently. He said he had been hired to advise Tatanaki on “how to deal with the [Libyan] conflict and protect his interests”.

And just a fortnight after the contract was signed, the ICC said it was looking into possible war crimes by troops led by General Khalifa Haftar, Tatanaki’s close ally. 

An ICC investigator then wrote to Ocampo and said that Tatanaki was being closely scrutinised as part of the investigation.

The next day, Ocampo wrote to Tatanaki’s office and offered to “suggest to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that Hassan and the forces he is supporting are not the target of ICC prosecutions.”

Ocampo has moved to deny that he introduced Tatanaki to ICC staff,  which has been suggested in emails. This would also have been a clear conflict of interest for ICC staff.

Tatanaki was not indicted for war crimes but declined to respond to questions last week.

EIC partners say more details about Ocampo’s dealings will be revealed in coming weeks.

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