Myanmar rejects int'l court's right to Rohingya probe

Legal World

Myanmar's government on Friday rejected an International Criminal Court ruling that it has jurisdiction to investigate allegations that Myanmar security forces violated international law by driving hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from their homes.

The office of Myanmar President Win Myint said Thursday's decision by The Hague-based court was "the result of faulty procedure and is of dubious legal merit."

It reiterated the government's previously stated position that it has no obligation to respect the court's ruling because it is not a party to the treaty that established the institution. It also listed points of law and evidentiary arguments in rejecting approval for the court to make a preliminary investigation.

A special U.N. commission on Monday recommended prosecuting senior Myanmar military officers for suspected genocide.

Because Myanmar is not a member of the international court, some legal experts had contended the court did not have jurisdiction.

But the argument that prevailed, made by court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, was that while the Rohingya were forced from their homes in Myanmar, part of the crime involved them being driven across the border into neighboring Bangladesh, which is a member of the court.

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