[JURIST] Sudan Justice Minister Abdel-Basit Sabdarat said Monday that a special prosecutor named [JURIST report] to investigate and try war crimes suspects from the country's Darfur region [JURIST news archive] has almost completed reports on some crimes in the region, though a time frame for trials has not yet been established. Sabdarat did specify that militia commander Ali Kushayb [TrialWatch profile; ICC arrest warrant, PDF], wanted by the ICC on suspicion of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, will be among those tried by the country's war crimes tribunal. The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in The Netherlands currently handles such proceedings, but if Sudanese domestic courts are created with appropriate human rights and accountability safeguards, the ICC is required to hand over jurisdiction under Article 16 of the Rome Statute [text, PDF]. AP has more. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
The Sudanese announcement is seen largely as a reaction to the controversial effort [JURIST report] by ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to seek an arrest warrant [application, PDF; ICC press release] for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile, JURIST news archive]. Both the League of Arab States (LAS) and the African Union (AU) [official websites] have criticized [JURIST report] the warrant bid and underlying indictment, saying they threaten peace in the unstable country.