Rukoro defiant on genocide case

18 Jan 2018 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JAN (NAMPA) – Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) Chief, Vekuii Rukoro, is adamant that the Federal Republic of Germany has appointed a lawyer to represent them in the New York District Court on 25 January 2018.
Although he was not willing to avail the hard copies of the correspondence between the lawyers in question, Rukoro said at a media briefing here on Thursday the German government last week instructed Jeffrey Harris to represent them.
The OTA leader was firing back after a media statement was issued by the German Embassy in Windhoek on Wednesday, saying the German government has rejected the service of 15 November 2017 in which it was summoned to the New York District Court on 25 January.
The rejection, according to the statement, was done through the US State Department and the US Embassy in Berlin as the service of the complaint on a foreign state violates the principle of State Immunity, which is a core principle of public international law.
This principle states that domestic courts do not have jurisdiction over sovereign acts of sovereign states.
“Following the United Nations law of procedure, Germany has informed the court about Germany’s legal position in writing,” the statement reads.
An official in the office of the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Windhoek, who spoke to Nampa on enquiry after the media conference said that Germany still stands by what it conveyed through the statement.
Rukoro however said immunity does not apply to all crimes and a crime against humanity such as a genocide is one such crime to which it does not apply.
Germany is trying to avoid appearing in court because they have realised that they have no defence against the charges against them, Rukoro said.
“Staying away from court is the only defence they have and I am sure that in the end we will be given a blank cheque to fill in the zeros as we want,” he said.
A delegation leaves for the United States on Tuesday to attend the hearing on the lawsuit seeking reparations from Germany and demanding the inclusion of the affected communities in official genocide talks.
The lawsuit was filed in the US Federal Court by Rukoro and the late chairperson of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association, David Frederick.