After four years of intense work regarding the case of Equatorial Guinea against France before the ICJ – International Court of Justice-, finally, on December 11, this High Court will announce the final verdict.
The International Court of Justice of The Hague, the highest body of justice of the United Nations, held from February 17 to 21 the last hearings on the case that has faced Equatorial Guinea against France for four intense years, before the complaint of our country by which France had violated the diplomatic immunity of Vice President Teodoro Obiang Mangue.
The verdict was scheduled to be announced around April, but the sudden arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic in Europe completely paralyzed the work of the prestigious team of judges, which has delayed its announcement by several months. Also due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the audience in which the final verdict of the case will be made public will have very restricted access. The delegations of the two countries may only be made up of two people, and both the public and the press will be prohibited from entering.
For this reason, the Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the Netherlands and our country’s agent before the ICJ for this case, Carmelo Nvono-Ncá, will be reporting on the entire process through his Twitter account – @Embajador_GE– and Facebook – @EmbajadorGE-. From next Monday, through this website as well as through the Ambassador’s social networks, the countdown of this historic verdict for Equatorial Guinea will be made.
On June 6, 2018, the International Court of Justice already issued its judgment on the preliminary objections raised by France in the case relating to immunities and criminal proceedings of our country against the French country.
The verdict made it clear that Equatorial Guinea was defeating France in three of the four open points. Despite France’s attempts to demonstrate that the ICJ was not competent to rule on the case that faces Equatorial Guinea, the Tribunal, in a final and binding resolution for the parties, declared that it was competent to hear the case, based on the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Likewise, the ICJ rejected a third preliminary objection from France and ruled out, by fourteen votes in favor and one against, declaring that the filing of the case before the international court by Equatorial Guinea incurred a “procedural abuse”.