Investigative reporters in France uncovered a French-Egyptian collaboration where the Egyptian military in covert aircraft struck civilians (by all indications those seeking to file for asylum in the EU) by air-to-surface rockets. Most probably the then-President of France, François Hollande is also implicated in that they did not cease to provide the necessary intelligence for the Egyptians to continue and carry out additional air strikes while they knew or should have known by carrying out their duties with ordinary care.

There is no doubt in my mind that this was a war crime, but I’m no expert.

If the above omission of Hollande is, in fact, a war crime, can ex-President Hollande end up before The Hague for assisting or carrying out war crimes, and on what charges?

A short English-language report on the matter:


And the original in French:


  • 2
    State attorneys formulate charges to a court of law, not investigative reporters. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 18:21
  • Probably not before The Hague considering it’s the International Court of Justice and is under the UN and no state. The prosecutors would also probably be in the hire of the UN, and not a state. But the question is not that but whether it is cognizable that the ex-President of France could be charged for war crimes and if so, on what specifically, for e.g. what Treaties and what Articles thereof.
    – kisspuska
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 19:08
  • 2
    Background: François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande is a French politician who served as president of France from 2012 to 2017.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 21:06
  • 1
    You might compare with the list of previous ICC indictees. There have only been 45 since the court's inception. Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 0:40
  • @NateEldredge That’s a great source, thank you!
    – kisspuska
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


Yes, one theory. Probably no, in practice

Taking it as a given that the actions are war crimes and therefore engage the ICC’s subject matter jurisdiction, the people concerned are French and France is a subject to the Rome statute which engages the court’s personal jurisdiction even though Egypt has not ratified the Rome treaty and so the court’s territorial jurisdiction has not been engaged.

However, the ICC can only become involved if France is unable or unwilling to deal with the matter and if the crime is of sufficient gravity. On the first of these points, France is capable of dealing with such allegations if they are properly made (i.e. laid before the justice system as a bona fide complaint rather than speculation in a newspaper) and would probably do so. On the second, sadly, as tragic as the events are if true, on the scale of issues the ICC deals with, they are not particularly grave. Nation states are involved in extra-judicial killings all the time, this might be wrong and in some cases criminal but it does not engage the ICC.

  • I think a government’s killing refugees, killing refugees by military, killing refugees by air strike or airstriking refugees by covert aircraft under the disguise of civilian aviation only to prevent them from exercising their rights to asylum is an unprecedented, flagrant war crime. Or you would naively hope so.
    – kisspuska
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 21:46
  • @kisspuska “unprecedented” - sorry, it doesn’t even make the top 1,000 of the last 20 years.
    – Dale M
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 22:13
  • Dale M, Air strike from a Cesna to kill refugees? The only thing coming close to this in Europe is coast guard ships “accidentally” sending boats of refugees overboard. There is no question here that they deliberately killed people, and also tried to cover up by using a small Cesna set up with hell-fire rockets.
    – kisspuska
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 23:04
  • @kisspuska there are enormous questions: did this happen? If it happened, did it happen in the way it was reported? What is the evidence? What is the chain of custody for that evidence? Are there witnesses? What is their testimony? Is it reliable? Has a crime been committed? If so, by whom? Is a prosecution likely to be successful? Is prosecution in the public interest? Notwithstanding, there are quite a number of things that far exceed this. Syria’s civil war, Russia’s shooting down passenger aircraft. Australian troops executing prisoners. US troops torturing prisoners. China’s Uyghurs etc.
    – Dale M
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 0:25

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