An article claiming that ICC Prosecutor, named as “Fataou Bensouda,” announced that the trial against President Rodrigo Duterte on his alleged extrajudicial killings has been set for January 2018 has been circulating online.
Some netizens shared the story on Facebook, fully believing that Bensouda made the announcement.
She was quoted saying the following remarks:
“Our court won’t leave an unturned stone. We have dealt with Africans and we are headed to the Philippines. This court has investigated Mr. Duterte and we are going to put him on trial as from January.”
“We won’t allow head of states to continue butchering people just because they are in power. I have recorded over 9,000 extrajudicial killings and we are going to take action uninvited. Duterte is the modern Hitler in Asia.”
We checked whether other sources carried the statements above, but failed to find any credible sources.
Aside from the alleged remarks from the ICC prosecutor being carried only by france24-tv.com and a few blogs that have picked it up, the website’s name seemed to have followed in the step of other fake news sites that used “-tv.com,” such as aljazeeranews-tv.com. It was a poor imitation of the real website of France 24, a Paris-based, 24-hour international news and current affairs TV network, whose website URL is www.france24.com.
France24-tv.com even got the spelling of the ICC prosecutor’s name wrong as they wrote it as “Fataou Bensouda,” when it should have been spelled as Fatou Bensouda. They did not even bother to get her name right so how can we expect that they did their research well as to the accuracy of their claims?
Bensouda was elected as the ICC prosecutor on December 12, 2011, assumed full duty on June 15, 2012, and is expected to serve until June 15, 2021 of her nine-year term.
This is not the first fake story that Meme Buster has debunked concerning the ICC communication about President Duterte. We busted stories such as those claiming that the ICC prosecutor dismissed the communication that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and lawyer Jude Sabio filed against Duterte, and that Bensouda said there was no evidence to support Duterte’s ICC prosecution.
However, the latest news we heard about the ICC communication against Duterte was that the one filed by Sabio was confirmed to have been received by Bensouda’s office in April. And there has been no update regarding the progress of ICC’s review of the case yet, unlike what france24-tv.com claimed.
A netizen also tried to do her own investigation into the claims of the fake news site.
Facebook page “Philippines “Speak Now or Be Silent Forever” also made a correction, calling the story as fake news.
Sources: ( gmanetwork.com )