International Criminal Court to Open Venezuela Office

The prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Thursday that it would open an office in Venezuela to continue its investigation of the allegations of torture and killings by the country’s security forces.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said he welcomed the commitment of the Venezuelan government to explore cooperation and technical assistance as part of the efforts to investigate alleged crimes against humanity.

Khan said Maduro’s government agreed to provide visas to court officials and the participation of international organizations and partners, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Any state that encounters difficulties in complying with the rule of law must be respected,” Khan said.

Khan announced the investigation in November when the court and Maduro’s administration signed a memorandum of understanding with the government agreeing to cooperate to clarify facts that led to the initiation of the process.

Khan’s predecessor, Fatou Bensouda, had indicated there was a reasonable basis that crimes against humanity had been committed in Venezuela, echoing the findings of the U.N.’s human rights council last year.

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