The government of Turkey has refused to release the UN judge at the centre of a stalled genocide appeal case. An international tribunal will now report Turkey to the Security Council.
A United Nations court is to report the government of Turkey to the UN Security Council after ruling it is in breach of obligations under a council resolution.
Turkey’s breach relates to the detention of international tribunal judge Aydin Sefa Akay, a Turkish national arrested following last July’s failed coup attempt against the government of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Akay has not been charged or had access to legal counsel, and the UN asserts his diplomatic immunity.
Turkey has refused correspondence with The Hague, and has not sent any legal representatives to any hearing.
Sitting at The Hague, president of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) judge Theodore Meron told the court: ‘There is no information before me indicating that the legal proceedings against judge Akay in Turkey have been ceased, that he has been released from detention… or that such actions may otherwise be imminent.’
Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) directs UN member states to comply with MICT orders. The council will now receive a breach report from Meron.
Controversially, Akay’s detention has stalled the case of Rwandan politician Augustin Ngirabatware, who is appealing a 30-year sentence for genocide and other crimes.
Meron’s ruling responds to one part of a filing by Ngirabatware’s counsel Peter Robinson.
Robinson also requested that Ngirabatware have the conditions of his detention altered, pending a solution to the stalled appeal. To date Meron has refused to replace Akay, as this could affect the status of his diplomatic immunity and is seen as a threat to judicial independence.