ICC prosecutors present appeal on Bashir's controversial genocide charge

Category: International
Published on Tuesday, 07 July 2009 21:56
Written by The New Sudan Vision (NSV), www.newsudanvision.com
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ICC building in The Haque

7 July 2009 (NSV)--Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team of prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have today appealed the decision by judges to not indict President Bashir on charges of genocide.

In March the judges who were handling the Sudan file threw away as ‘insufficient’ the charge of genocide and instead indicted Bashir on two counts of war crimes—for intentionally directing killing of civilians and pillaging---and five counts of crimes against humanity: rape, torture, murder, extermination, and forcible transfer.

On his way to Ethiopia to meet with the African Union, Ocampo said Monday that his team “submitted detailed evidence on the mobilization and use of the entire Sudanese state apparatus for the purpose of destroying a substantial part of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in the entire region of Darfur during more than six years".

But the chief prosecutor is embattled since the AU leaders he is about to talk with just ended their Summit in Libya with a categorical rejection of the ICC effort to follow through with Bashir’s arrest warrant.

These African leaders think that the decision to indict Bashir is motivated by Western interference and that defying the arrest is a great rebuke after their request to defer it were 'ignored' by the international community.

This decision is not sitting well with Botswana and Ghana—the two of the 30 African countries that have decided to arrest Bashir once he comes to their countries.

The UN says 300,000 people have died and more than two million fled their homes in that time.

But president Bashir has stuck with his one line: that the numbers have been exaggerated and it was the responsibility of his government to respond to attacks by Darfur rebels in 2003.

Mr. Ocampo is said to have also requested ‘warrants for three Darfur rebel commanders”

He does not appear to be buying into pressure by AU to stop Bashir from answering for his crimes in the Darfur.