Karim Khan

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Person.png Karim Khan  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Karim Khan.jpg
BornKarim Asad Ahmad Khan
30 March 1970
Edinburgh, Scotland
Alma materKing's College London
SiblingsImran Ahmad Khan
Spooky British lawyer who became Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in 2021.

Karim Khan KC is a British lawyer specialising in working on international criminal law cases. On 12 February 2021, Khan was elected Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)[1][2].

Khan has significant ties to the British deep state, and the British Foreign Office noted that the appointment of Khan was one of its "key achievements" in 2020/21.[3] His younger brother Imran Ahmad Khan is the disgraced former Conservative MP for Wakefield.[4]

Family background

Khan has a family connection to the UK Conservative Party via his brother Imran Ahmad Khan, an MP (and possibly spook) who in 2022 was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008. Imran Khan resigned as an MP and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, serving nine[5] of these before being released in February 2023. Imran Khan was part of a panel advising the government on grooming gangs.[6]


Educated at Silcoates School, Khan received an LLB degree AKC from King's College London.[7] He was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Lincoln's Inn in 1992. He later attended Wolfson College at Oxford University as a Doctoral candidate (D.Phil.) in law, although he did not complete the course and does not hold a Doctorate. Between 1993 and 1996 Khan was a Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales, as well as a Senior Crown Prosecutor in 1995.

Early Career

From 1997, Khan worked as a Legal Officer at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) between 1997 and 1998. He later was a Legal Adviser at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) until 2000.[8]

Khan spent several years engaged in leading cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and similar courts, covering cases in Sudan, Cambodia,Cameroon, Kosovo and other places.[9]

Until June 2021, Khan was based in Baghdad, Iraq, and worked as Special Adviser and Head of the Investigative Team for the United Nations Investigative Team for the Promotion of Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL in Iraq (UNITAD).[10]

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

In February 2021, Khan was elected chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, though he was not initially shortlisted. His appointment, in February 2021, was mired by controversies over how the election was organised[11]. The UK Foreign Office noted that the appointment of Khan was one of its "key achievements" in 2020/21.[12]

A few months after his appointment as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in November 2021, Khan announced to the United Nations Security Council that he intended to limit the ICC's investigations to those referred to his office by that Council, whose permanent members include the UK and US. Investigations that were not referred in this way would be placed under review. These included those into Afghanistan and Palestine that were conducted by his predecessor, Fatou Bensouda, and would also shield the war crimes committed by UK/US forces.[13][14]


In April 2022, Karim Khan said of the war in Ukraine: "We have reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court are being committed."

Eleven months later, he successfully applied for two arrest warrants alleging Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova violated two Rome Statute rules against systematic deportation, transfer and hostage-taking.[15]


During the Gaza War (2023–24), Business Insider reported that a statement by Karim Khan "appeared to suggest" that both Israel and Hamas could be prosecuted by the ICC. On 17 November 2023, Khan stated the ICC had received a joint request by South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes.[16]

On 29 December 2023, South Africa instituted proceedings at the International Court of Justice alleging Israeli genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.[17]

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  1. "British human rights lawyer elected chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court"
  2. https://www.globalresearch.ca/international-criminal-court-icc-prosecutor-karim-khan-compromised/5848665
  3. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/614c39d9e90e077a2ba1f34e/FCDO_annual_report_and_accounts_2020_to_2021_accessible.pdf
  4. "Imran Ahmad Khan: MP guilty of sexual assault advised Home Office on child sexual exploitation"
  5. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-61549531.amp
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/apr/26/ex-tory-mp-guilty-of-molesting-boy-was-on-panel-advising-on-grooming-gangs
  7. "Khan, Karim Asad Ahmad, (born 30 March 1970), QC 2011; barrister; a Recorder, since 2018; Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, since 2021." Who's Who & Who Was Who. 1 Dec. 2011
  8. https://www.dw.com/en/icc-new-chief-prosecutor-divides-opinions-in-africa/a-57892882
  9. https://asp.icc-cpi.int/sites/asp/files/asp_docs/Elections/PRO2020/Karim%20Khan-CV-ENG.pdf
  10. http://www.uniraq.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=10340:mr-karim-a-a-khan-qc-special-adviser-and-head-of-unitad-meets-with-his-eminence-grand-ayatollah-ali-al-sistani&Itemid=605&lang=en
  11. https://www.globalresearch.ca/international-criminal-court-icc-prosecutor-karim-khan-compromised/5848665
  12. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/614c39d9e90e077a2ba1f34e/FCDO_annual_report_and_accounts_2020_to_2021_accessible.pdf
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/dec/04/icc-to-continue-investigation-into-claims-of-war-crimes-by-british-troops
  14. https://www.lawfaremedia.org/article/iccs-afghanistan-investigation-missing-option
  15. "ICC to issue first arrest warrants linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine"
  16. "Israel is committing war crimes in Palestinian territories, five nations charge"
  17. Document:South Africa institutes Genocide Convention proceedings against Israel
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