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29 March 2017 Africa Legal News Watch

Africa Focus

'The lion is back in his den'

Hosni Mubarak, the first leader to face trial after the Arab Spring uprisings that swept through North Africa is a free man after spending six years in detention. Legalbrief reports that the extraordinary development marks the end of a futile ... Read More

Regional News

Policemen decapitated in ambush

Forty-two police officers have been decapitated by a Congolese militia group after the officers' vehicles were ambushed. A report on the allAfrica site notes that the country's Kasai region has seen seven months of severe violence amid local power ... Read More

Former warlord sentenced in ICC bribery case

Former DRC warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba has been sentenced by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to a year in jail and fined £260 000 for bribing witnesses during an earlier war crimes trial at the court. The Guardian reports that the ... Read More

Businessman slams magistrate over summons

Controversial Kenyan businessman Paul Kobia was today (Monday) involved in a heated altercation with a magistrate in a packed Nairobi courtroom. Kobia was arraigned over allegations that he and his four bodyguards kidnapped Congolese businessman Blanchard Londole and assaulted him ... Read More

Africa International

Tripoli court suspends migration deal

A Tripoli court has suspended a deal between Libya and Italy to limit irregular migration to Europe. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his Libyan counterpart Fayez al-Sarraj signed the deal in February to tackle people smuggling through the North ... Read More

Pope acknowledges ‘failings’ during genocide

Pope Francis has asked for ‘God's forgiveness’ for the ‘sins and failings’ of the Roman Catholic Church during the Rwandan genocide. Numerous Catholic priests are believed to have been complicit in the killings of about 800 000 people by ... Read More

Ghanaian national accused of torturing migrants

A Ghanaian man has been jailed after migrants told authorities he tortured them while they were in Libya awaiting smugglers to send them by boat to Italy. Police in Agrigento said several migrants claimed the 20-year-old raped several women and ... Read More


UN slams Cameroon over refugee crisis

The UN has criticised Cameroon for the forced return of hundreds of refugees to north-east Nigeria after they had fled from the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency. BBC News reports that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said forced returns ... Read More

Jordan urged to block or detain al-Bashir

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Jordan to deny entry to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir or arrest him if he enters the country. Legalbrief reports that al-Bashir has been invited to attend the 28th summit of the Arab League on ... Read More

First life sentences for human trafficking

A Swazi father was given two life sentences in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday in a case reminiscent of that of Josef Fritzl in Austria nine years ago, says a Sunday Tribune report. In the local case the ... Read More


Concern over red tape Bill’s effect on big business

Parliament has heard that the Red Tape Impact Assessment Bill – aimed at easing doing business in South Africa – placed too much emphasis on small business, worrying a lot of large companies that are also still vulnerable to red tape. A ... Read More

Bill to protect executive branch from lawsuits

The Namibian Cabinet has approved a resolution to draft an Executive Immunities Bill, which will ensure that the executive branch of government is protected from lawsuits. The Namibian reports that the legislation is an extension of the existing law which ... Read More

Bill seeks to outlaw tribal markings

A Bill prohibiting ‘facial mutilation’ has passed its second reading in Nigeria’s Senate. A report on the Naij site notes that Senator Dino Melaye, who sponsored the Bill, conceded that many people used ‘tribal marks’ as a means of ... Read More

Africa Analyses

Unpacking Africa’s fraught relationship with the ICC

On 1 February, the AU issued a resolution encouraging member states to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). In an analysis on the allAfrica site, Adam Branch notes that whatever comes of it, the reported plan is the culmination ... Read More

Mixed signals for LGBTI community

The Ivory Coast does not explicitly criminalise homosexuality, but its public indecency law singles out homosexual acts and relations. At a gay bar in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, a group of men embrace and laugh. ‘Some of the ... Read More

Costs issue in constitutional cases

The question of when a court will award legal costs in a constitutional case is settled law in South Africa, but in a number of other African countries with new constitutions, the issue is still unresolved. Latest to decide the ... Read More

Quotes of the Week

'Nowhere in the world is there

‘I’m neither sad nor disappointed. Politically, everything flew in this direction and paved the way for the normality of this moment.’ – Tarek el-Khatib on the release of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His brother, Mustafa, was killed in the ... Read More

Book Review

Student Comrade Prisoner Spy

Student Comrade Prisoner Spy Bridget Hilton-Barber Penguin. R230 When Bridget Hilton-Barber got on a train to Grahamstown in 1982 to study journalism at Rhodes University, she had no idea of the brutal drama that would unfold. A rebellious young woman ... Read More

At a Glance

Women, youths urged to own land

* Tanzanian women and youths have been encouraged to own land that they may use as collateral when applying for business loans from financial institutions such as banks in the country. The call was made by a member of the Parliamentary ... Read More

IT expert charged with hacking

* An IT expert has been charged with hacking into Kenya's Revenue Authority and stealing $39m. Alex Mutuku is accused of electronic fraud but he denies any wrongdoing. The prosecution says he is part of an international network stealing money ... Read More