NRI welcomes court’s announcement on land grabbing

The Papua New Guinea think-tank, National Research Institute (PNG NRI) has welcome the announcement by the International Criminal Court of Netherlands.

A prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, has announced that people involved in land grabbing and environmental destruction could be tried for crimes against humanity.

NRI, which has long been advocating for safeguarding the interests of landowners said this is welcome news for customary landowners in Papua New Guinea.

In a media statement, NRI Director Charles Yala said the ICC Prosecutor’s announcement implies that all people, including Ministers, Heads of Departments and Company directors and executives that are involved in land grabbing in PNG, could one day be charged for crimes against humanity.

“Facilitators of grabbing of customary land in Papua New Guinea may come to the attention of the International Criminal Court.”

The ICC is an international court that was established in 2002 to complement the activities of national courts of various countries.

It has the power to prosecute people for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The ICC can exercise its powers when national courts of a country are either not willing or not able to try criminals.

Individuals that have been indicted in the ICC include the former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo; the current Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyata; and Abdullah Senussi, who was the former head of military intelligence of Libya.

Freddy Mou