ICC can examine aid flotilla case: UN expert

The International Criminal Court could examine Israel`s deadly storming of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May, a member of a UN Human Rights Council`s probe into the incident said on Tuesday.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 00:41 AM IST

Geneva: The International
Criminal Court could examine Israel`s deadly storming of a
Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May, a member of a UN Human Rights
Council`s probe into the incident said on Tuesday.

Desmond de Silva, a member of the inquiry, noted
that the ship Mavi Marmara`s flagstate is the Comoros Islands,
which are members of the court, "which gives the ICC
jurisdiction because the (offensives) were committed on
board the Mavi Marmara."

The probe ordered by the UN Human Rights Council
into the May 31 incident said last week that there is clear
evidence to back prosecution against Israel for killing and
torture when its troops stormed the aid ship, leaving nine
Turkish activists dead.

It also said that six of the deceased were "victims
of summary executions."

Israel has rejected the inquiry from the outset as
biased.

During a UN Human Rights Council hearing today, the
United States also criticised the report for its "unbalanced
language, tone and conclusions."

Other Western states however, called for the report
to be transmitted to a separate United Nations probe into the
incident which was set up by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

"The European Union suggests transmitting the
report before us to the international panel of inquiry," an EU
diplomat said today.

She added that the bloc "strongly encourage Israel
to follow-up on the conclusions of the" rights probe.

De Silva is a British lawyer and former UN war
crimes prosecutor for Sierra Leone.

PTI