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Posts Tagged ‘Arrest Warrant’

Tim Witcher (AFP) – Dec 12 2010

UNITED NATIONS — The International Criminal Court faces a new battle of wills this week with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir even as its top prosecutor says the wanted leader is increasingly encircled.

Bashir, who faces ICC warrants for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, has been invited to a summit in Zambia on Wednesday and to attend a festival in Senegal later this month.

ICC statutes dictate that any member country should arrest him if he visits. Bashir is defiant, however, the African Union supports him, and this year he has been to Kenya and Chad, both signatory countries which refused to detain him.

“President Bashir will continue to travel, nobody will be able to restrict him,” Sudan’s UN ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said.

Following ICC complaints and some international pressure, some diplomatic doors have closed, however.

An October summit of an East African group had to be moved from Kenya to Ethiopia, a non signatory, so that Bashir could go. Sudan boycotted an AU-European Union summit in November because of European threats to walk out and a visit to Central African Republic this month never went ahead.

South Africa and Uganda said they would arrest him if he went there.

“He is not under house arrest, he is under country arrest,” ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said as court signatory countries met at the United Nations.

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See Also Bashir’s canceled trip to Zambia, New York Times Dec 15 2010

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Alfred Wandera, Daily Nation , June 9 2010

President of the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court has insisted that Uganda must arrest Sudan President Omar al-Bashir should he visit the country during the AU summit due in Kampala in July.

In a statement released yesterday to media at the ongoing ICC Review Conference in Kampala, Mr Christian Wenaweser said since Uganda is a party to the Rome Statute, it has to fulfil its mandate as stipulated in the Statute.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a statement from the Ugandan government that is less equivocal than what we have seen over the past few days. What’s important from our perspective is Uganda is a state party to the Rome Statute so it has an obligation to fully cooperate with the provisions of that statute and we would like to see a statement to that affect,” Mr Wenaweser’s statement reads in part.

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ICC Warrant a Pain in the Neck for Bashir (The Daily Nation – Kenya)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir seems to have enjoyed his year as fugitive head of state. Recent boasts and threats would indicate that. A little humility might help.

An interview with German magazine, Der Spiegle, published a week ago today; President Bashir commended the International Criminal Court, ICC. The court last year issued a warrant for his arrest over the Darfur conflict. “My popularity in my home country has unexpectedly multiplied through this warrant.” That’s “a favour which I would never have dreamt of.”

President Bashir remains popular in the North. It’s a different matter in the South. Come next January, the region will hold a referendum on secession or unity with Sudan. Results would provide a better measure of the president’s popularity. Meanwhile, elections for presidencies, national and the south, regional governors, and assemblies, take place next month. International observers irk Mr Bashir.

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Ambassador: U.S. moving to support international court (CNN)

The United States is “prepared to listen and to work with” the International Criminal Court even though the Obama administration is not prepared to sign on to the treaty that established the court, a U.S. diplomat said Wednesday.

The U.S. government announced Tuesday it would support key war crimes prosecutions being pursued by the ICC. They included alleged crimes in four African nations, most notably the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

“The United States is prepared to listen and to work with the ICC and go through requests that the prosecutor has. And we’re not going to prejudge what those requests are,” Stephen Rapp, U. S. Ambassador-At-Large For War Crimes, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “There may be obstacles under our law. But we’re prepared to do what we can to bring justice to the victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Uganda, and Sudan, and in the Central African Republic.”

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Arabs urged to support war crimes tribunal (The National – UAE)

NEW YORK // Ahead of a review conference on the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal, campaigners are calling on more Arab governments to stand up for human rights by throwing their weight behind the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Supporters of the ICC complain that only three members of the 22-nation Arab League – Jordan, Djibouti and Comoros – have ratified the treaty underpinning the court, the Rome Statute, representing the lowest membership rate of any region.

They describe Arab officials as torn between supporting a court that could be empowered to try Israelis for war crimes in Gaza, but is also prosecuting a sitting Arab head of state, Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, for atrocities.

“The prosecution of al Bashir caused a lot of hesitance among Arab states – especially as this arrest warrant was issued just after the Israeli invasion of Gaza,” said Abeer al Khraisha, the Amman-based co-ordinator for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, which advocates for the court.

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Pre-Trial Chamber 8 Feb 2010

Pre-Trial Chamber I declines to confirm the charges against Bahar Idriss Abu Garda

Situation: Darfur, Sudan

Case: The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda

Today, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court issued a decision declining to confirm the charges in the case of The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.

The Chamber was not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Bahar Idriss Abu Garda could be held criminally responsible either as a direct or as an indirect co-perpetrator for the commission of the crimes with which he was charged by the Prosecution. Abu Garda was charged with three war crimes, namely violence to life, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission, and pillaging, allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September, 2007, against the African Union Mission in Sudan (“AMIS”), a peace-keeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site (“MGS Haskanita”), in the locality of Umm Kadada, North Darfur.

The Chamber stressed that the case was of sufficient gravity as the consequences of the attack had affected not only the AMIS personnel and their families, but also the local population as AMIS, involved in a peacekeeping mission, established under the auspices of the African Union, first suspended, and finally reduced its activities in the area. The Chamber also found that there were substantial grounds to believe that AMIS personnel and installations, material, units and vehicles stationed at the MGS Haskanita were entitled to protection given to civilians and to civilian objects under the international law of armed conflicts. The Chamber found, however, that the Prosecution’s allegations that Abu Garda participated in the alleged common plan to attack MGS Haskanita were not supported by sufficient evidence.

The Chamber’s decision was taken by unanimity, and one judge filed a separate opinion. The decision does not preclude the Prosecution from subsequently requesting the confirmation of the charges against Abu Garda if such request is supported by additional evidence. The Prosecution can also submit a request to Pre-Trial chamber I for leave to appeal the decision on the confirmation of charges.

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New York Times MARLISE SIMONS Feb 9 2010

International judges dismissed a war crimes case against a Sudanese rebel leader on Monday, saying there was not enough evidence to try him on charges that he played a key role in the killing of 12 African Union peacekeepers in Darfur in 2007. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, a leader of the United Resistance Front, voluntarily traveled to theInternational Criminal Court in The Hague last year to attend hearings in the case. The court’s prosecutor had accused him and two others of organizing an attack in which about 1,000 rebels stormed a peacekeeper base in Darfur, and fled with equipment and vehicles.

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Angola Press

Washington Post

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CNN, 07 June 2009

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who faces charges of crimes against humanity, visited Zimbabwe on Sunday for a regional trade meeting.

Al-Bashir landed Saturday in the capital, Harare, for the two-day African leaders’ summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on March 4, accusing him of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity in his government’s campaign against rebels in Darfur in western Sudan.

It was the first arrest warrant for a sitting head of state by the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, based at The Hague in the Netherlands. Sudan expelled 13 international aid agencies from the Darfur region after the warrant was issued.

Al-Bashir has denied the charges, calling them an attempt by Western powers to recolonize Sudan.

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 after rebels in the western region of Sudan began attacking government positions. The government responded with a fierce military campaign that has left about 300,000 dead and more than 2.5 million displaced, the United Nations estimates.

The International Criminal Court has no arrest powers and depends on its 106-member states to take suspects into custody. Al-Bashir has visited other counties, including Qatar and Ethiopia, since the warrant was issued.

In Zimbabwe, the summit will be at the Victoria Falls, a popular tourism spot on the Zambezi River. Sudan is a member of the trade group, which consists of 19 African nations.

Full article here.

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