ICC prosecutors appeal decision not to charge Sudan president with genocide

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Tuesday appealed [text, PDF] the court's decision [JURIST report] not to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] with genocide. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said that the evidentiary standards imposed by the Pre-Trial Chamber [official website] in advance of their March indictment was an improper interpretation of Article 58 of the Rome Statute [texts]. Moreno-Ocampo urged the Appeals Chamber [official website] either to order the Pre-Trial Chamber to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on genocide charges under Article 6 [text], or to remand the case with instructions on the proper standard for determining whether "reasonable grounds" exist.

In March, the Pre-Trial Chamber issued an arrest warrant [text, PDF] for al-Bashir, charging him with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The warrant has been controversial [JURIST news archive], with Egypt, Sudan, the African Union [JURIST reports] and others calling for the proceedings against al-Bashir to be delayed, and African Union leaders agreeing [JURIST report] last week not to cooperate with the ruling. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has previously urged al-Bashir to comply [JURIST report] with any ICC decision, but al-Bashir has said that that he and his government will disregard [Al Jazeera report] the ICC's ruling. Al-Bashir is accused of systematically targeting and purging the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa, three Arabic-speaking ethnic groups, under the pretext of counterinsurgency since 2003.

 

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