Central African Republic
Practice Relating to Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings
Section E. Cooperation with international criminal tribunals
The Central African Republic’s Penal Procedure Code (2010) states:
Art. 344: In enforcing the  Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [ICC] ratified on 3 October 2001, the Central African Republic participates in the repression of offences and cooperates with the [International Criminal] Court according to the conditions of this section [on cooperation with the ICC].
The provisions that follow are applicable to any person prosecuted or sentenced by the International Criminal Court for acts constituting, in the meaning of articles 6 to 8 and 25 of the Rome Statute, genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
Art. 345: Cooperation requests issued by the International Criminal Court shall be addressed to the competent authorities in accordance with the present code and with the [ICC] Statute …
Art. 346: Cooperation requests are executed, depending on the case, by the Public Prosecutor or by the investigating judges of the high court of Bangui who perform their duties in the entire national territory …
Art. 347: The carrying-out of [the other forms of cooperation] mentioned in paragraph 1 section k of article 93 of the Rome Statute is ordered … by the Public Prosecutor before the high court of Bangui. The maximum duration of these measures is limited to two years.
Art. 348: Requests for arrest to hand over [an individual] to the International Criminal Court are addressed … to the competent authorities under article 87 of the [ICC] Statute that must, after ensuring the formal validity [of the request], transmit them to the Public Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals and must, at the same time, enforce [the request] in the entire territory of the Republic.
Art. 349: Any person apprehended with the aim of being handed over [to the ICC] must be referred to the Public Prosecutor with jurisdiction [over the matter] within twenty four hours.
The Code also states:
Art. 357: A person subject to a provisional arrest under article 92 of the [ICC] Statute can, if he or she consents to it, be handed over to the International Criminal Court before the competent authorities under article 87 of the Statute have received a formal request for surrender from the international court.
Art. 358: Any person detained on the territory of the Central African Republic can, if he or she consents to it, be transferred to the International Criminal Court for purposes of identification or for a hearing or indictment.
Art. 359: When requested by the International Criminal Court, the enforcement of fines and forfeitures and of decisions concerning reparations are authorized by the criminal court in Bangui, seized by the Public Prosecutor.
Art. 360: The authorization by the criminal court under the preceding article results in the transfer of the property or of the proceeds of the sale of property or confiscated goods to the International Criminal Court, or to funds benefitting victims by decision of the Court.
Art. 361: When, in the application of this code and of the Statute, the Government has accepted to receive persons sentenced by the International Criminal Court to serve the terms of imprisonment on the territory of the Republic, the pronounced sentence is directly and immediately executable once the person has been transferred to the national territory for the remaining amount of the sentence.
Subject to the provisions in the Statute and this section [of the code], the enforcement and the implementation of the death penalty are governed by the provisions of this code.
On 16 September 2004, in the Central African Republic v. Ange Félix Patassé and Others case
, the presiding investigating judge at the Bangui Regional Court, inter alia
, referred the case of Patassé and others to the Criminal Court of the Central African Republic for the trial of allegations of, inter alia
, murder, deadly blows, removal of bodies, arbitrary arrests and detentions, rape, theft, torture, and destruction of third party property.
On 16 December 2004, the Bangui Court of Appeals overruled that decision, holding, inter alia
, that the crimes in question came under the competence of the International Criminal Court.
On 11 April 2006, the Court of Cassation, the highest criminal court of the Central African Republic, confirmed the Court of Appeal’s decision in this respect, stating:
searching for perpetrators of crimes and bringing them before penal courts to make them answer for their crimes is a duty of which no State can divest itself;
…this must take place by way of genuine proceedings;
… in the proceedings against Ange Félix PATASSE, Jean Pierre BEMBA and his men, Martin KOUMTAMADJI alias Abdoulaye MISKINE, Victor NDOUBABE, Paul BARRIL and Lionel GANE-BEFIO, the presiding investigating judge has charged the concerned persons for the facts they are accused of and has issued arrest warrants against them, … but these remain the only concrete actions, the latter having neither been heard nor been made the object of serious searches;
… the incapability of the judicial services of the Central African Republic genuinely to carry out an effective investigation or prosecution concerning them is clear;
… furthermore, the fact that the presiding investigating judge referred to the Criminal Court of the Central African Republic persons who are all outside the national territory shows that incapacity and establishes their impunity;
… recourse to international cooperation remains the only means to prevent that impunity in this case;
… the Central African Republic has ratified the Rome treaty establishing the International Criminal Court which offers the possibility to search and punish the perpetrators of the most serious crimes which affect the international community as a whole, in the place of States which are unable genuinely to carry out an effective investigation or prosecution;
… the presiding investigating judge was wrong not to decide to make use of that possibility.
In 2004, the Government of the Central African Republic referred the situation of crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court committed anywhere on the territory of the Central African Republic since 1 July 2002 to the International Criminal Court.
Holding perpetrators to account [for] grave violations against children continues to be rare … and yet is a crucial element towards protecting children’s rights … In those cases where national authorities are unwilling or unable to hold perpetrators to account, due to lack of capacity or resources for instance, international justice mechanisms, including through the work of the International Criminal Court, and ad hoc
and mixed tribunals, can and should play a complementary role.