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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sudan president refuses to turn over war crimes suspects wanted by ICC
Deirdre Jurand at 7:35 PM ET

[JURIST] The president of Sudan has refused to arrest or turn over two Sudanese war-crimes suspects wanted [press release] by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The ICC issued arrest warrants in April 2007 for Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Harun [TrialWatch profile; arrest warrant, PDF] and militia commander Ali Kushayb [TrialWatch profile; arrest warrant, PDF], citing 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population of the country's Darfur region [JURIST news archive]. ICC officials said Thursday that under UN Security Council Resolution 1593 [text], the Sudanese government must cooperate with the investigation even though it has failed to do so [ICC report, PDF], but the president said Friday that the government would not cooperate [VOA report] with the court because Sudan was not a party to the resolution or to the ICC. ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] told the UN Security Council last week that he will seek further indictments [statement, PDF] next month against Sudanese officials who were involved in crimes in Darfur and who have protected the criminals rather than the victims. BBC News has more.

On Wednesday, Sudan accused Moreno-Ocampo of hindering the peace process for Darfur [Reuters report] by preparing a "fictitious and vicious" case against its government officials after he said top Sudanese officials have been directly involved [JURIST report] in the planning, execution, and cover-up of atrocities committed against Darfur residents. In December 2007, Sudan rejected [JURIST report] Moreno-Ocampo's previous report to the UN Security Council, in which he condemned Sudan for failing to hand over Harun. In February 2007, Moreno-Ocampo asked the ICC to issue summonses [JURIST report] for Harun and Kushay for "jointly committed crimes against the civilian population in Darfur," and in May 2007, the ICC issued arrest warrants for the two [JURIST report].

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