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Tate calls for International Criminal Court to take over Bali investigation

Tasmanian priest Fr Michael Tate, former Federal Justice Minister, has suggested the newly established International Criminal Court should take over the investigation and any subsequent trial on the Bali bombings.

Fr Tate said allowing the ICC to assume control would satisfy international concern about due process. The move could be initiated by the UN Security Council, by Australia, which is a signatory to the treaty establishing the court, or by Indonesia itself.

"While Indonesia is not a party to the treaty, it may suit them to surrender the accused, whoever they may be, rather than hold a trial in Jakarta with its attendant political unrest," Fr Tate said.

Australia recently ratified the Treaty of Rome which established the court, but a prosecutor is yet to be appointed. Under the provisions of the treaty, that prosecutor would have the power to order investigations into crimes against humanity where there has been a multiple series of attacks and where people have been murdered.

"Given that there has been a series of bombings in Indonesia since the treaty came into force, this could be possible," he said.

Fr Tate teaches international law at the University of Tasmania. In 2000 one of his students was Tim Hawkins, the sole Tasmanian missing, believed killed, in Bali.

"As a young lawyer at the start of his career I think he would have wanted us to use the legal processes and use the systems we have to deal with serious violations of international humanitarian law."

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International Criminal CourtInternational Criminal Court (OzSpirit)

22 Oct 2002