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One World with Zain Asher

Former President Trump Attends Closing Arguments In A Civil Case; Haley DeSantis Spar At Republican Presidential Debate In Des Moines, Iowa; U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Says The Middle East Conflict Is Not Escalating But There Are Lots Of Danger Points; Helicopter Carrying Out Medical Evacuation Forced To Land In Somalia; Israel Tried Under U.N.'s Genocide Convention; Legendary NFL Coach Bill Belichick Leaves the New England Patriots; A New Movie Tells The Life Story Of Late Singer Amy Winehouse. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired January 11, 2024 - 12:00   ET



ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, another day, another historic Trump legal proceeding.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: ONE WORLD starts right now. The former president is attending closing arguments in a civil case with a lot at

stake. And you guessed it. He's once again calling it a witch hunt.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Also, we'll take you deep inside the tunnels in Gaza that Israel says held hostages of Hamas.

GOLODRYGA: And later the end of an era. Six Super Bowl rings later, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are officially breaking up. So, why

now? We'll discuss.

Hello everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga, alongside Zain Asher. We are going to take you to lower Manhattan now, where Donald Trump,

the former president, is speaking outside of the courtroom. Let's listen in.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: -- very happy in Texas. Other companies, because of what's happening here, are going to be moving out of

New York also. This is out of control. The Attorney General -- she's totally out of control.

These ones were all good. The banks were extremely happy with me. They still are. We built a great company. We have a company that's very liquid,

very strong, great assets. And she sued me because she wanted the publicity to run for office, but they find nothing wrong.

And I think if anybody was being fair about it, and I'm not sure you can even hear me because they don't allow microphones over here, which is

pretty ridiculous, but if anybody's fair about it, you see this is a case that should have never been brought, and I think we should be entitled to

damages. Thank you. I'll be back.

REPORTER: Mr. Trump, what's your reaction to (inaudible)?


ASHER: All right, Donald Trump there speaking outside the New York courtroom. Of course, there is so much at stake for Trump and his business

empire. The judge in this case, Judge Engoron, has already decided that Trump is liable just in terms of inflating his assets in order to gain more

favorable loan terms.

But now we are going to find out how much Donald Trump could end up paying when it comes to damages. The A.G. in this case wants $370 million. I want

to bring in Brynn Gingras, who's outside the courthouse in New York. So, Brynn, just walk us through what unfolded in the courtroom today.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so right now actually they're at a break. The lead attorney Chris Kise, he has given

part of the closing arguments and then we are having this break and we're expected to hear from two other members of the defense team, Alina Habba

and another attorney.

But essentially this is their chance, of course, to lay out their entire case, to finalize it, to explain to the judge why they don't believe Trump

should lose any business license or pay any money back in ill-gotten gains, which is what the state's attorney is going after.

And Chris Kise, in his arguments, essentially said what he had said during the two and a half month long trial, which is that there were no victims

here, no banks complained about, you know, these financial statements and the values that the state's attorneys have said of these properties were


They said, Chris Kise said, in fact, banks were rolling out the red carpet to allow the Trumps to do business in the state. He pointed to the fact

that there were no banks that took the witness stand to complain about any losses here.

He also, in his arguments mentioned how there's no motive for Trump and his adult sons and the Trump organization to lie on those statements because

they just have no reason to -- because of the fact that they would be getting these loans regardless from the banks who wanted to eagerly do


Another thing they brought up is some of the testimony that we saw in that two and a half month long trials, some of which came from Michael Cohen,

the former president's personal attorney, his fixer. And the defense essentially saying here, you know, this is someone who the states put

forward on the stand and he's a known liar that he continues to lie and this is something that they really wanted to hammer home to the judge.

So, really, the crux of this case is what we are hearing from the defense and we are expected to get the -- this is supposed to wrap up at 12:45,

that's how long the judge is allowing them to give closing arguments before we take another break in here from the state's attorney side.

Point -- it's important to point out, guys, that there are going to be no decisions on this case today. We do expect the judge to make a final ruling

about any damages or penalties in this case sometime later this month.


ASHER: All right, so no decision today, but we will hopefully get some kind of ruling in terms of the damages later on this month. Brynn Gingras,

live for us there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: So, let's get more legal analysis on this. Joining us is Renato Mariotti, an attorney and former federal prosecutor. He is also the host of

the popular podcast, "It's Complicated". And it seems just judging by what we've heard from the judge thus far, not much complicated here in this


Despite that, though, we did hear from the defense for the former president, as we heard Brynn lay out, say that, listen, there were no

witnesses testifying to fraud, to any material misstatements, or that the loan terms and pricing would have been any different. In his view, he sees

the attorney general trying to strip them of everything. What do you make of these closing arguments and do they have any merit for the former

president's case?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: They have no legal merit, Bianna. They're actually being made to influence people like us and your

viewers trying to, excuse me, manipulate public opinion. But actually, as I believe your reporter pointed out just a moment ago, Trump has already been

liable, found liable for fraud.

And really the issue here is regarding some of the other counts, regarding some of the other potential false statements and misrepresentations, you

know, are those also going to be added to that finding of liability? And then what are the remedies?

In other words, you know, the attorney general is asking for over 300 million dollars. And she's asking for his businesses to not be able to do

business in New York and for receivers to be appointed and so on. That's really what this trial is about.

And a lawyer who's trying to influence this judge would be focusing -- would be essentially putting the issue of liability to the side and really

focusing on the remedies and trying to convince the judge that he didn't need to do as much as the attorney general is asking for. Instead, this is

more or less a campaign speech. I view it as more of a P.R. or press or political strategy, not a legal strategy.

ASHER: I mean, as you were speaking, Renato, we just actually saw images of the Attorney General, Letitia James. One of Donald Trump's key points

here is that this is actually about politics. He says that Attorney General James campaigned many, many times on taking down Trump. If you vote for me,

if I win, I will go after Donald Trump.

And, of course, he is doing just that. Trump has staked his whole sort of defense here on the fact that this is a political witch hunt. But based on

what he's saying about attorney general Letitia James, there are some key facts that he's right about here. I think it's a valid criticism to

criticize the Attorney General, Leticia James, for her bias.

You know, in the United States, state prosecutors, state attorney general are elected, and you know, they make election promises, and they try to

influence voters, and I think it's a very fair game to criticize their motives and to attack them as bias.

Unfortunately, for the former president, that's not going to help them very much in the courtroom, because regardless of the bias of the attorney

general or any motives on her part, the evidence, according to the judge, has established that Donald Trump has committed fraud.

And so, as I said, you know, from a legal perspective, that's why his lawyers, instead of being focused on that issue, earlier focused on a lot

of the political and, you know, press strategies in terms of attacking the Attorney General.

GOLODRYGA: So, the former president, if you look at the polls now, may view this as a political win for him -- all of these cases against him but

the implications here in this specific case are significant. Talk about what could be at stake here and what you think this judge will ultimately


MARIOTTI: Great question, because I represent companies like the ones that Donald Trump owns. And if they had a case like this, where potentially a

receiver was going to get appointed to take over some of these entities, where certain of the companies would lose their charter, not be able to do

business in the state of New York -- not be able to own real estate in the state of New York. That would be like a death sentence to those companies.

So, that's really a very serious issue. Unfortunately, for Donald Trump, of course, this isn't even the most consequential trial that he faces this

year, given that he faces criminal trials in multiple states. So, he's really -- his back's against the wall, and I think he's betting everything

on a political strategy of trying to win the presidency, rather than taking these cases seriously from a legal perspective.


GOLODRYGA: But can I just interrupt that financially -- financially, not legally but just financially, this could be the most consequential.

MARIOTTI: One hundred percent -- 100 percent, you're right about that, Bianna. I agree with that. I mean, that's why I think Trump is here, trying

to make a case of this in court and trying to -- he's clearly upset about it. And, you know, it's worth noting, Donald Trump took, you know -- sat

for a deposition in this same case and took The Fifth hundreds of times, which is something you don't do if you want to fight or want to win in a

civil proceeding.

And I think, then, his lawyers were just going to concede this case away and then Donald Trump recognizing how much this is going to cost him, I

think he's here and he's upset. Unfortunately, a little too late to try to win this one.

ASHER: All right, former Federal Prosecutor Renato Mariotti, thank you so much. Appreciate it. All right, he called her, quote, "a mealy-mouthed

politician, beholden to wealthier donors. She accused him of blowing through $150 million during his campaign, and they both repeatedly accused

the other of lying.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, multiple times. It's quite a night. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took turns in

tearing each other down at a CNN Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa last night. They got into heated exchanges over the economy, immigration, world

conflicts, and other issues.

And both criticized front-runner Donald Trump for once again skipping the debate. All of this with just four days to go until the first in the nation

caucuses in Iowa. U.S. National Politics Reporter Eva McKend reports from Des Moines, Iowa.


EVA MCKEND (voice-over): Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Governor Ron DeSantis taking center stage in the final debate before the Iowa

caucuses. And the gloves were off.

NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he would spend as much time trying to prove why he thinks he would be a good president, he would

be doing a lot.

RON DESANTIS, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is U.N. way of thinking that we're somehow globalist. You can take the ambassador out of

the United Nations, but you can't take the United Nations out of the ambassador.

MCKEND (voice-over): While the front-runner was absent, Trump chose to attend a separate Fox News town hall event and teased a possible vice


TRUMP: I mean, I know who it's going to be.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Give us a hint.

TRUMP: I'll give you. We'll do another show sometime.

MCKEND (voice-over): The dueling events taking place as one of Trump's biggest critics steps aside.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anyone who is unwilling to say, that he is unfit to be President of the United States is

unfit themselves.

MCKEND (voice-over): The former governor of New Jersey also found himself in a hot mic moment, criticizing Haley. She's going to get smoked and you

and I both know it. She's not up to this. Trump seizing on it.

TRUMP: I know her very well and I happen to believe that Chris Christie is right. So, I'm not exactly worried about it.

MCKEND (voice-over): Haley and DeSantis reminding voters of Trump's absence from the debate stage. Again, something they both agreed on, but

which voters don't seem to mind.

HALEY: I wish Donald Trump was up here on this stage. He needs to be defending his record.

DESANTIS: Donald Trump should be on this stage. He owes it to you here in Iowa.

MCKEND (voice-over): But neither took the opportunity to strongly denounce him or argue he's unfit for office.

HALEY: So, when you look at Donald Trump, I have said, I think he was the right President at the right time. I agree with a lot of his policies, but

his way is not my way.

DESANTIS: If Trump is the nominee, it's going to be about January 6th, legal issues, criminal trials. The Democrats and the media would love to

run with that.

MCKEND (voice-over): But DeSantis and Haley spent most of the debate going after each other and trying to prove who can be the toughest on stage.

DESANTIS: Do not trust Nikki Haley with illegal immigration. That's like having the Fox guard the hen house. Nikki Haley also opposed the border

wall in 2016. She said that she ridiculed it when Donald Trump was formed. I'm telling you, you need a wall.

Haley: Go to I said you can't just build a wall. You have to do more than build a wall. It was having the wall and everything

else. You can't trust what Ron's saying.

MCKEND (voice-over): DeSantis arguing Hailey's record as South Carolina's former governor proves she isn't ready for the White House.

HAILEY: DeSantis --

DESANTIS: She's says she's always supported school choice and she failed to deliver. She blames other people. Leadership is about getting things

done. Stop making excuses. Make it happen.

MCKEND (voice-over): Haley firing back in a blistering kick down of his campaign.

HAILEY: If leadership's about getting things done, how did you blow through $150 million in your campaign? We went and saved our money. We made

sure we spent it right because you have to understand it's not your money, it's other people's money and you have to know how to handle it. If he

can't handle the financial parts of a campaign, how's he going to handle the economy when it comes to the White House?


[12:15:00] GOLODRYGA: Well, America's top diplomat says that the Middle East conflict is not escalating but there are what Antony Blinken calls lots of danger

points, like the tense situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border. The U.S. Secretary of State discussing what he calls aggressive diplomatic efforts

underway to try to calm ongoing clashes between Hezbollah and Israel.

ASHER: Earlier, Blinken met with Egypt's President in Cairo, part of an urgent series of meetings with leaders across the Middle East. He's been

criss-crossing the region, desperately trying to prevent this war from getting out of hand. And you'll know from watching this program that the

Biden White House is looking for a path out of the bloodshed taking place right now in Gaza. Take a look at what Mr. Blinken had to say.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We're doing everything we can with very strong regional support, again, to make sure that this doesn't

spread, that there can't be a repeat of October 7th, but also that this conflict comes to an end. It is vital that as long as this is going on,

every effort be made to make sure that civilians who are caught in a crossfire of Hamas' making don't continue to suffer.


GOLODRYGA: Now, all this comes as South Africa outlines its genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice. We'll have more on

this in a few minutes with our guest, international law professor, William Chavez.

ASHER: But first, CNN has been given a glimpse of the maze of underground tunnels in Gaza where Israel says that Hamas held some of the hostages who

were kidnapped on October 7th. It's important to note that CNN reported under the IDF's escort at all times as a condition for journalists to join

the embed with the IDF media outlets -- have to submit footage filmed in Gaza to the Israeli military for security review. CNN did not submit its

final report to the IDF and did actually retain editorial control here. Here's our Nic Robertson with more.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Khan Younis, a gunner's view, driving in scouring the landscape for threats.

Problem for these IDF troops, their enemy is mostly hiding in tunnels, they say.

DAN GOLDFUS, IDF DIVISION COMMANDER: The biggest issue is the fact that we're actually maneuvering above ground, underground.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Goldfus, who commands Israel's biggest military division ever, is adapting.

ROBERTSON: So, you use all your sensors that you have. You use your vision sensor. You use your feel sensor, the smell sensor.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): He has invited CNN to go deep into the tunnels. We are told this is the heart of Khan Younis and that hostages are likely

underground nearby and that some were held here.

ROBERTSON: This tunnel we are going in here is one where some of the hostages were held. That first round of hostage releases, some of them came

out from down here. So how deep does this tunnel go?

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Our first time to get up close to what's shaping this war.

GOLDFUS: We are moving underground, we are maneuvering underground, we are going to reach every -- each and every militant, each and every terrorist

underground here.

ROBERTSON: No modern army has had to fight above ground and underground like this before. How is that to do it?

GOLDFUS: It's difficult and it's just going to be a very, very hard, long fight.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): To see just how hard he takes us deeper.

ROBERTSON: So, we came down a metal ladder. We've come down one flight of stairs. We're going down a second flight of stairs here, a double flight it

looks like. And down here, command and control wires running all the way down. It's a deep, deep system. How deep are we underground, do you think,

right now?

GOLDFUS: At the moment we're more or less between 10 to 15 meters underground.

ROBERTSON: Ten to 15 meters.


ROBERTSON: And now we're going down another level. Down more steps. We're about to go down again another level. It's so low, my head keeps banging

off the roof. What are we looking at here?

GOLDFUS: This is a small room, okay?

ROBERTSON: With some kind of air ventilation system.

GOLDFUS: Yeah, it's an air ventilation system that goes up and building.

ROBERTSON: Metal frame around the door.

GOLDFUS: These metal frames -- this can be, as much as this is a small room, this is how the different cages that they put the kidnapped.

ROBERTSON: So, they were held in cages?

GOLDFUS: In cages, yeah.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hidden and utterly cut off. And down here you really can't hear anything. What's going on in the outside world? Now, we

must be 20 or 30 meters down?

GOLDFUS: We're almost 20.

ROBERTSON: Almost 20? Yes. So, they have tunnels three times as deep as this?

GOLDFUS: Three times.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): What's clear here, the money, planning and preparation invested for a long siege.


ROBERTSON: We're 20 meters underground here -- 20 meters, and there's a fully flush toilet. And it's even painted. There's a place for a light bulb

and light switches. Tiled.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The labyrinth keeps going.

ROBERTSON: Okay, now it's so low. We're getting down on our knees to get through.

UNKNOWN: All right. Yeah.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Goldfuss pauses, lays out his path to victory.

GOLDFUS: Underground, it's Hamas. And we have to reach this Hamas core to finish them off.

ROBERTSON: But those Palestinian people above ground are also dying, still.

GOLDFUS: I understand that. I understand. That's why we're trying to do it as fast as we can. Yesterday, there were mortars and rockets fired from

north of Gaza into the civilian part of Israel.

ROBERTSON: So, as long as those rockets are coming out and the northern guys are the people of the south who have moved to the south can't go back

to the north?

GOLDFUS: As long as we haven't carried out our mission all the way, as long as we haven't finished this mission, I don't think we'll leave here.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): We head back, half an hour underground. We've seen only a fraction of this war-changing labyrinth. Goldfus' challenge -- find

all the others. Nic Robertson, CNN, Khan Younis, Gaza.


ASHER: All right, still to come, the search is on for passengers of a U.N. helicopter captured by Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. We'll have a live

report for you from the region just ahead.


ASHER: My goodness, take a look at this. These are scenes from Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Island nation, where shops were looted, buildings were

set on fire. You also had a number of people killed, dozens injured, as well.


GOLODRYGA: Yeah, it all began in the Capitol after police officers and security officials walked out of their jobs in protest over a drop in their

pay. Government officials later blamed that on a computer glitch in the payroll system, promising to fix it by the next pay day. There are calls

for the Prime Minister to now resign.

ASHER: All right, turning now to a developing story happening in the Horn of Africa. Somali forces are searching for passengers on board a United

Nations helicopter that was captured by Al-Shabaab militants.

GOLODRYGA: The U.N. says the helicopter made an emergency landing in an insurgent-controlled territory north of Mogadishu. Eight people were on


ASHER: Larry Madowo joins us live now from Nairobi, Kenya. I mean, Larry, this really puts it into perspective, just what's happening on the ground

there in Somalia when it comes to this Al-Shabaab insurgency. They've led this insurgency in Somalia for about 16 years now.

And despite so much sort of international military support, the government there, the central government in Somalia, is really having a hard time

quelling the violence. Walk us through it.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Zain. Al-Shabaab, this al- Qaeda affiliate, still controls large parts of central and southern Somalia. And that is where this helicopter landed. It was carrying out

medical evacuation. It is believed to have developed some kind of technical fault and was forced to land here. In fact, some sources have described it

as a crash landing.

In this region that is controlled by Al-Shabaab, the Somali Information Minister telling CNN that they're still searching for the eight people that

were on board in this aircraft, one Somali national, seven different foreigners were here. We don't know their nationalities. In fact, we really

haven't heard a lot since this incident first happened on Wednesday afternoon when this confirmation from the U.N. was published.


STEPHANE DUJARRIC, SPOKESPERSON, U.S. SECRETARY GENERAL: I can confirm that there was an incident involving a U.N.-contracted helicopter that took

place today in Galmudug in Somalia. Response efforts are underway, but I think if you will understand for the sake of the safety of all those on

board, we're not going to say anything more at this point.


MADOWO: The U.N. is being very careful in the way it describes this. Response efforts are underway, is what you heard the spokesperson say

there. In a statement, they described it as an aviation incident. Nothing more than that.

The information we've heard is either from the Somali National Army or from the Information Minister who speaks for the Somali government, who say that

Somali national forces are in the area, working very practically to figure out the best way to carry out this search and rescue operation.

They're speaking to the locals, gathering evidence. To try and do this search and rescue operation in the middle of an active war zone in an area

controlled by Al-Shabaab is going to be extremely difficult because this would be a big win for the Al-Shabaab.

If they have foreigners in their custody, they can use them for leverage, which is a likely possibility even though so far, Al-Shabaab has not

confirmed doing so and the families of the people who work for this organization that was contracted with the U.N. waiting to see exactly who

they are and if they will be able to get out of this situation safely, Zain.

ASHER: I mean, this really does highlight just how difficult it's been for Somalia to try to eliminate al-Shabaab. We know that Hassan Sheikh Mohammed

has vowed to destroy al-Shabaab, both military -- militarily, and financially. So far, it's not been proven an easy feat. Larry Madowo, live

for us there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Officials in Iran have been talking to CNN, telling us that today's seizure of an oil tanker by Iran is not a hijacking.

ASHER: Right. Iran's permanent mission to the U.N. says the action in the gulf of Oman is a quote, lawful undertaken -- undertaking, rather,

sanctioned by a court order. An Iranian news service says the move comes in retaliation for the U.S. confiscating the same vessel and its oil last


GOLODRYGA: All right, coming up for us, a historic case is now before the U.N.'s top court in The Hague. At the heart of it, an allegation of

genocide against Israel over its war against Hamas.




GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher.

GOLODRYGA: South Africa claims that the war in Gaza is a genocide unfolding right before our eyes. Israel rejects that accusation, calling

the genocide case against it, quote, the greatest hypocrisy show in history.

ASHER: The International Court of Justice in The Hague is holding a landmark two-day hearing involving one of the world's most complex

conflicts. South Africa is accusing Israel of committing genocide and warns that unless the court acts, there could be, quote, the total destruction of

the Palestinian people in Gaza.


BLINNE NI GHRALAIGH, LAWYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA: Despite the horror of the genocide against the Palestinian people being live streamed from Gaza to

our mobile phones, computers and television screens, the first genocide in history where its victims are broadcasting their own destruction in real

time in the desperate, so far vain hope that the world might do something, Gaza represents nothing short of a moral failure.


GOLODRYGA: It is the first time Israel, a country founded in the shadow of the Holocaust and the murder of some six million Jews, is being tried under

the U.N.'s Genocide Convention. Israel staunchly rejects the accusation and insists it's acting on its right to self-defense. Here's CNN's Melissa



MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three months after Israel launched its military campaign targeting Hamas in Gaza, South Africa is

taking on Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing it of genocide and urging the U.N. body to order Israel to stop

the war.

RONALD LAMOIA, SOUTH AFRICAN JUSTICE MINISTER: South Africa cannot stand idly and watch when genocide is being committed by the state of Israel in

full glue of the International Community Clear Acts that aim to annihilate the population of Palestine.

BELL (voice-over): Allegations that will be refuted by Israel when it takes the stand on Friday.

ISAAC HERZOG, ISRAELI PRESIDENT: We will be there in the International Court of Justice and will present proudly our case of using self-defense

under our most inherent right, under International Humanitarian Law, where we are doing our utmost in under extremely complicated circumstances.


BELL (voice-over): In its 84-page application to the court, South Africa accuses Israel of breaching the 1948 Genocide Convention by engaging in

acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the Palestinian people, including through killings, the causing of serious bodily and

mental harm and other measures.

The petition claims that Israel's actions are rooted in what it calls a 75- year-old system of apartheid. It also draws on the rhetoric of Israeli politicians since the war began.

GIORA EILAND, RETIRED MAJOR GENERAL, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: It creates such a huge pressure on Gaza that Gaza will become an area where people

cannot live.

HERZOG: It's not true. This rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved, it's absolutely not true. And we will fight until we'll break

their backbone.

BELL: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week, dismissed South Africa's case as a


BLINKEN: We believe the submission against Israel to the International Court of Justice distracts the world from all of these important efforts.

And moreover, the charge of genocide is meritless.

BELL (voice-over): The public hearings begin on Thursday, and whilst a ruling on genocide could take years, a possible injunction on the Gaza war

that Pretoria has asked the ICJ for could come much sooner. Melissa Bell, CNN, The Hague.


GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Melissa Bell, for that. Time now for The Exchange and our conversation with William Shabbos. He's a professor of

International Law at Middlesex University, and he joins us now live in London. Professor, thank you so much for taking the time. So, let's start

at the beginning.

Genocide in and of itself is a very high threshold to meet. Obviously, we have seen, we know that thousands of Palestinians have been killed in this

war. But the question then goes to intent. And Israel will argue tomorrow, we're going to hear from them, that it is acting in self-defense and that

it's targeting Hamas members, not Palestinians, and that any civilians that are killed are collateral damage and they even warned them with leaflets.

And they then say, Hamas, it is Hamas that is using civilians as human shields. Given that, has the prosecution, has South Africa met the

threshold in this filing?

WILLIAM SCHABAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY: Well, something that's important to understand is this is really just a

preliminary skirmish in a legal battle that's going to go on for probably several years. The court is not going to make a ruling after the hearings

today and tomorrow as to whether or not Israel has committed genocide in Gaza.

All that it's going to do is determine whether South Africa has set out what's called a plausible case for genocide. It's a pretty low threshold

that South Africa has to meet. And I think that Israel's objections will -- cannot resist that really. That's something for what we call the merits,

which is several years down the line.

ASHER: And, William, Zain here. As you point out, it will likely take several years. We do know that. But South Africa has asked the

International Court of Justice to perhaps issue at some point provisional measures, getting Israel to at least suspend, temporarily pause its

military operations in Gaza while the lawsuit proceeds.

Israel is, of course, party to the Genocide Convention. But there isn't really any enforcement power here. So, if the ICJ does issue some kind of

provisional measure to sort of get Israel to suspend these military operations, what actually does change on the ground given the lack of


SCHABAS: Well, it'll depend on what the measures are. So, we've had other genocide cases at the court. Sometimes the court will simply order a state

not to commit genocide, and then it can either be defiant and resist that or simply say, well, we agree with that.

We're not committing genocide, so thank you very much. It will depend on the type of order that the court will issue. I think it's very likely,

based on past practice at the International Court of Justice, that there will be some kind of an order directed at Israel.

Now, if Israel is resistant and defies the order, I think, really, where it's going to have problems and where there's going to be a kind of

enforcement is that many of its friends, many of the states in Western Europe in North America, Australia, and so on, countries that are fairly

loyal to Israel, they're also very loyal to the court, and they're going to be very uncomfortable with the view that a judgment of the court is

something to be ignored.


And so, there would be a price to pay for Israel in defying the order. It will depend again on what it is, South Africa has a long list of requests.

I think there are nine points, and the court is also free to improvise itself in terms of the kind of order that it would make.

GOLODRYGA: Given how rare these cases are, and as you rightly note, this argument right now is about the plausibility of genocide, the longer-term

issue will be decided perhaps years from now.

Given how rare these cases are, given, as we all know, the skepticism that Israel feels that it is treated with at the United Nations and the bias

that it feels that it is treated with, given that this all started because of an attack on Israel on October 7th, and again we're going to be hearing

from the Prime Minister.

We're going to be hearing from the defense tomorrow, but the Prime Minister today even said, where was South Africa when millions were killed and

displaced in Syria and Yemen by Hamas' partners? So again, laying the case for what we're expected to hear tomorrow, given all of that, do you think

that this case brought by South Africa was warranted?

SCHABAS: Well, yes, it's a case that has -- they certainly have very good, solid arguments. I listened to the proceedings today and I've read their

submissions. They're talking about very brutal acts that were committed against civilians, non-combatants in Palestine, statements by prominent

Israelis, political figures and so on, as well as soldiers and combatants talking about really very, very harsh -- really genocidal language about

destroying people. It certainly isn't a case that has merits to it.

GOLODRYGA: You said that wasn't decisive evidence. But didn't you --

SCHABAS: I'm sorry.

GOLODRYGA: Didn't you recently say that the language itself is not decisive language -- evidence?

SCHABAS: When did I say that?

GOLODRYGA: I read in a recent interview with "Haaretz".

SCHABAS: No, I think what I said is that the statements by speakers are often held out to be the sort of the crucial evidence in demonstrating

genocidal intent. And my impression from the case law is that this is not as crucial as people think it is. And what they're going to be looking at

are the acts.

Now, I'm not trying to predict the outcome. It's really premature to predict the outcome of the case, but it's not a frivolous case. It's

certainly not a frivolous case. It's a serious case. Israel will have to answer it. And maybe Israel's conduct will change in some respects.

I don't think so. Nobody's arguing that Israel doesn't have a right to protect itself from attacks from Hamas. This is about actions committed

against the civilian population that are pointing at the possibility of the expulsion, the displacement, and the destruction of the Palestinian people.

It's a strong case, and we'll see how the court will deal with it.

ASHER: Professor, there have been four, I think, universally agreed upon acts of genocide committed in recent history. Obviously, the Holocaust, the

genocide of Jews, the Rwanda genocide, of course, in the mid-'90s, the Armenia genocide, the genocide of the Roma people, and also a pending

fifth, the Rohingya genocide, as well.

So, of course, the bar is really high. This is something that is ruled upon as genocide very, very rarely. Given that, just explain to us how this

particular war between Israel and Hamas -- between Israel in Gaza, differs from the other four.

SCHABA: Well, there are similarities and there are differences in all of the circumstances. And I think that in this case, there's a history, first

of all, of displacement of the Palestinian population. There were statements and conduct that are clearly depriving the Palestinian

population in Gaza of things that are essential for survival, potable water, medical care, and so on -- access to food.

And all of this threatens the survival of the people of Gaza. Now, it has to be demonstrated to succeed with a genocide case, that this is being done

with the intent to destroy the people of Gaza. That's a judgment that the court will make, the 17 judges of the court eventually is going to make,

based on the evidence. And they will weigh that evidence up.

And I don't think we can predict today how that's going to happen. There are two things that change at the court. This is a moving target, genocide.

The first is the composition of the court changes. So, looking at what judges did 10 years ago or 15 years ago is useful, but it doesn't bind the

court for the future and there may be new judges with a different approach.


And the second thing is, there are calls -- constant calls to broaden out an approach to genocide, which has been quite narrow, historically.

ASHER: Professor --

SCHABAS: Recently - recently, several Western European states --

ASHER: Professor, unfortunately we are out of time, Professor. I'm so sorry. We are out of time. I'm looking at the clock right now. We are

really up against it, but I appreciate you joining us.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you for coming on.

ASHER: A great and sharp mind.

SCHABAS: Have a nice day. Yes.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

ASHER: We appreciate it.

GOLODRYGA: A lot to pack in there.


GOLODRYGA: Thank you. And I'll be back at the top of the hour with Amanpour where I'll be speaking with former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas

about the ICJ hearing and the war in Gaza and then the growing fears of a wider regional conflict.

ASHER: ONE WORLD continuous, next.


ASHER: It is the end of an era in American professional football. Legendary NFL coach Bill Belichick is leaving the New York -- excuse me,

the New England Patriots. Belichick coached the Patriots for 24 seasons, leading them to six Super Bowl titles. A short time ago, he and Patriots

owner Robert Kraft addressed the media. Belichick is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history but his departure comes at the end of a very

disappointing season. CNN's Coy Wire has more.


BILL BELICHICK, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: The only thing I'm focused on is the Seattle Seahawks. We're getting ready for

Cincinnati. Give me an F, give me a C-plot. I mean, I don't really, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Who cares?

COY WIRE, CNN ANCHOR AND SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Renowned for his terse press conferences, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots

parted ways after a 24-year partnership. With Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of all time at his side, Belichick and the Patriots

dominated the NFL for two decades, reaching the Super Bowl an astonishing nine times, winning six of them.

TOM BRADY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: I mean he's a great coach, taught me a lot, was a great mentor for me for a long time and I really enjoyed my time

in New England.

WIRE (voice-over): Belichick began his NFL career in 1975 at the age of 23. During those ensuing 49 years, he created one of the most accomplished

coaching resumes in NFL history.

Two Super Bowl wins as a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants. At 38, became the league's youngest head coach when he was hired by the

Cleveland Browns. Most post-season wins by a head coach in NFL history, second all-time on the wins list, trailing only former Dolphins head coach

Don Schula.


BELICHICK: Work hard, be prepared and do what's best for the team. And that's --that's what I've always tried to live by.

WIRE (voice-over): His last Super Bowl was five years ago. And since Tom Brady left after 2019, the Patriots have had a losing record in three of

the four seasons, culminating with a four and 13 record this season. Fans can debate for decades who is more essential to the Patriots' success,

Belichick or Brady, but one thing is not up for debate. Bill Belichick is one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time.


ASHER: And Coy Wire joins us live now. And Coy, that is the eternal question. Would Belichick have risen to this height if it were not for Tom

Brady being by his side for those years?

WIRE: I don't think it's possible to have reached this height without Tom Brady.

But I will say that it works the other way as well, because the one thing that Bill Belichick does is he holds everyone accountable. As you know, at

any organization, in any career, It's tough to sustain success. There's a lot of people who become content, who rest on their laurels. There are a

lot of people who become a little too proud, a little too big headed, too full of themselves. And so it's tough to keep egos in check as a leader.

And I think that Bill Belichick is one of the greatest leaders in that regard of all time to allow his team to maintain that mindset and that

attitude, that championship mentality, that always humble and hungry mentality. That's a special gift. You know, I knew that every time I played

against a Bill Belichick coach team when I played in the NFL was every season, twice a season for six years in the NFL, you knew that you were

going up against a team of machines.

He had those guys locked in. They had their responsibilities and their mission in the forefront of their lives. They were not allowed -- they were

not cut any slack. No matter how successful they got, I remember a teammate of mine, Lori Malloy, who had come to us from the New England Patriots, he

said, Coy, it didn't matter if I went to Pro Bowls, it didn't matter if we had already won a Super Bowl.

When I came back that next season for off-season training, if I was one tenth slower in my 40th time but when I came out of college, he'd make me

run it again and again. And I wasn't allowed to practice with the team until I got my time down.

So, he was so cutthroat with his accountability, holding players and coaches accountable. That's what allowed them to be that machine that we

saw for so many years, nine Super Bowl appearances, six Super Bowl wins. It'll be interesting to see where he goes now and if he can take that

discipline and that attitude, that mindset, mentality of a champion to another organization and maybe go out on a Super Bowl win.

ASHER: Yeah, his famous motto is of course, no days off, right? No days off. I mean, his work ethic was legendary. Coy Wire, live for us there.

Thank you so much. We'll be right back with more.

WIRE: You got it.




ASHER: We're getting a first look at the new movie that tells the life story of late singer Amy Winehouse.


UNKNOWN: I don't write songs to be famous. I write songs because I don't know what I'd do if I didn't.

ASHER: "Back to Black" stars Marisa Bella as Amy Winehouse. It examines Winehouse's relationship with her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, and the

trials and tribulations that led to her iconic album, "Back to Black".

Amy Winehouse, of course, died back in 2011 from alcohol poisoning. The film hits theaters on May 10th. All right. That does it for this hour of

ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. "AMANPOUR" is up next.