The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Monday he is confident the court’s judges will soon charge Sudan’s president with genocide and three Darfur rebels with war crimes. A three-judge panel at The Hague-based court in March issued a warrant for the arrest of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity for deportations and mass killings in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
While they charged Bashir on seven counts of crimes in Darfur, two of the three judges deemed the evidence insufficient to support genocide. In an interview with Reuters, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said he had clarified the case to the point that it should meet the judges’ high evidence threshold. “It’s more than enough for the arrest warrant phase,” he said.
Moreno-Ocampo said that the judges had required that he go beyond the normal criteria for an arrest warrant — sufficient grounds for belief of guilt — and remove any doubt that Bashir had tried to exterminate at least one specific group of people, normally the threshold for a guilty verdict.Without giving details, Moreno-Ocampo said he had clearly established that link. Also, one of the two judges who had balked at the genocide indictment has been replaced, he added, increasing the likelihood the panel of judges will take a fresh look at his request.
The Sudanese government has rejected Moreno-Ocampo’s charges and is refusing to cooperate with the court. Khartoum has retaliated by expelling 13 foreign and three domestic humanitarian aid agencies, accusing them of collaborating with the ICC.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS