April 10 2014, marks the entry into force of an agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the interim release of detainees on the Belgian territory pursuant to decisions of the Chambers of the Court. Belgium becomes the first country accepting to provisionally receive detainees of the Court on its territory on a temporary basis and under conditions established by the competent Chamber.
This agreement regulates the procedure for the interim release of an ICC detainee and in particular formalizes the necessary consultations with the Court’s Registry with the Belgian authorities, the latter examining the Court’s requests on a case-by-case basis.
“This agreement represents a step forward in terms of cooperation with the ICC and we wish to express our gratitude to the Belgian authorities for their support”, said ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel. “We also hope that this advancement will encourage other States to sign such agreements with the Court”, he added.
In all of its activities, the ICC relies on the cooperation of States and International Organisations, including receiving detainees after their interim release, enforcing sentences of imprisonment pronounced by the Court, or relocating witnesses. The Court may enter into arrangements or agreements to provide such cooperation.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.