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Guinea PM says judiciary incapable of judging killers

Jean Marie Dore
The International Criminal Court has to decide whether to launch an investigation

By Caspar Leighton
BBC West Africa correspondent

The prime minister of Guinea has said the country's judiciary is not capable of judging the suspects in the killing of Guinean activists last September.

The admission by Jean Marie Dore comes as a team of lawyers from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is in Guinea to decide on that very issue.

The ICC can only investigate a crime if the justice system in a country cannot, or will not, investigate itself.

More than 150 opposition demonstrators were killed on 28 September.

The ICC's deputy prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is in Conakry as part of the court's preliminary examination of the killing of Guinean activists.


The judiciary is a problem in Guinea, the way it is organised, the training of the magistrates and some of their behaviour

Jean Marie Dore
Prime Minister of Guinea

Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore leads a transitional authority tasked with steering Guinea from military government to democratic elections.

He is frank about the shortcomings of the judiciary: "The judiciary is a problem in Guinea, the way it is organised, the training of the magistrates and some of their behaviour presents problems between the Guinean authorities and their internal and external partners.

'Tall order'

"If we are honest, there are difficulties to overcome so that Guinea is up to the job of properly judging those responsible for what happened on 28 September."

Whether Guinea can overcome these difficulties is far from clear.

The ICC now has to decide whether it should launch an investigation.

But even if it does, the court will rely on the Guinean authorities to act on any arrest warrants.

This will be a tall order in a country where the military has long held the reins of power.



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