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Former ICC prosecutor leaked information to possible war crimes suspect

The former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been accused of leaking sensitive information to a possible Libyan war crimes suspect, who was paying him for consultancy work.

Luis Moreno Ocampo had a $3 million contract with influential Libyan billionaire Hassan Tatanaki, who had close links to the former Muammar Gadaffi regime. A cache of 40,000 documents obtained by the French investigative website Mediapart and seen by the Sunday Times revealed that Mr Tatanaki was a person of interest to war crimes investigators at the ICC, where Mr Ocampo was the chief prosecutor. The Libyan reportedly headed a Libyan militia accused of extra judicial killings and other human rights violations.

Mr Ocampo told the Financial Times that as part of his post-ICC work as a consultant he provided advice to Mr Tatanaki “to help address the issues within Libya”.

The Sunday Times reported that Mr Ocampo had tipped Mr Tatanaki off that he was being monitored by the international court and arranged for one of the court’s most senior press officers to work for Mr Tatanaki secretly. He told Mr Tatanaki that the ICC was “still turning up some concerning things” and advised him to put a greater public emphasis on humanitarian work.

Fatou Bensouda, current prosecutor of the ICC, reportedly asked Mr Ocampo to “refrain from any public pronouncement or activity that may — by virtue of his prior role as ICC prosecutor — interfere with the activities of the office or bring it into disrepute”.

Commenting on the case, Gemma Lindfield, a London barrister who worked with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, told the Financial Times, “If you have held one of the highest prosecutorial positions in the world, you have an ongoing duty to maintain a high level of conduct, for the sake of the credibility of the institution”.

See more from the Sunday Times here and the Financial Times here.