We talk a lot about “The Indicted” here at End Impunity. Clearly End Impunity readers know their world politics, but it’s always good to brush up on the basics. Our new series “Defined:” does just that.
What does it mean to be indicted?
Indicted is more than accused, but less than convicted. Anyone can make an accusation. “Omar al-Bashir is a jerk!” is an accusation – but he’s not indicted for being a jerk. An indictment is a formal legal proceeding which must show sufficient evidence that the accused committed the crimes in question. Typically it is a presentation before a grand jury. The accused is not usually present.
Using our example, Bashir has been indicted on multiple counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – but legally, he’s not guilty of anything. Not yet. An indictment is not a guilty verdict, nor is it even an arrest warrant. However, once someone is indicted, the arrest warrant is usually quick to follow.
The End Impunity Hall-of-Shamers all have one thing in common: an ICC indictment. Whether deceased or living, arrested or free – the International Criminal Court has declared considerable evidence exists that each and every one of them has been party to atrocious acts. We will discuss those acts in upcoming “Defined:” columns.