Caracas. The government of Venezuela and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have reached an agreement to set up an office in the country to provide support and technical assistance to the Venezuelan authorities.
During his third visit to the South American country, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan signed a memorandum of understanding with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Khan told media representatives that “this agreement is the realization of our efforts, all the efforts that you have made. Now we will be able to come to Venezuela more often and work more closely together so that we can help Venezuela with technical support “. The experts at the ICC Prosecutor’s Office are able to “help with the judicial reforms that Venezuela wants to implement to ensure more justice, more accountability and sustainable peace”.
President Maduro pointed out that the establishment of the office “in the context of positive complementarity on the basis of the Rome Statute” would have a beneficial effect in order to “strengthen the reform processes and the necessary changes in Venezuela’s national judicial system”. He also assured that the country has “open doors” to allow the truth to prevail “over the distortions, manipulations and lies” being spread against Venezuela in the world.
The Roman Statute is the contractual basis of the International Criminal Court based in The Hague.
The ICC has been conducting an investigation into the human rights situation in Venezuela since 2021. Although the government disagreed with Khan’s decision, it agreed to cooperate and signed cooperation agreements with the institution.
In early April, however, she denounced that the court had committed “various irregularities and violations of due process” in the 2018 case relating to alleged crimes against humanity.
In February 2023, the agency was presented with “a solid document that refutes all false media claims and geopolitical aggression accusing Venezuela of alleged crimes against humanity that never happened.”
Khan’s comments show a “clearly biased view of Venezuela” and that he “without deliberation reproduces the campaigns that seek to exploit the issue of justice and human rights for political ends, to the detriment of the seriousness and severity that expected from an international body of such importance,” says the communiqué from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.
In September 2018, the right-wing opposition, with the support of the United States and other allied countries, filed a complaint with the IstGH, in which they accused the Maduro government accusedof being responsible for “crimes against humanity” during the protests in 2017. At that time, opposition groups organized violent street protests for several months with the aim of overthrowing Maduro. More than 100 people were killed, including members of the opposition, government supporters, police officers and national guardsmen as well as bystanders. The opposition blames the government and security forces alone.