Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] began seeking an arrest warrant [official release] on Friday for Sundanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur [JURIST news archive] between August 2003 and March 2004. Ocampo began the process by asking Pre-Trial Chamber I to review the evidence against Hussein and decide whether an arrest warrant should be issued. Ocampo believes that there is enough evidence to link Hussein to these crimes and that the ICC should arrest Hussein to prevent him from further actions and continue to investigate the Sudanese government's actions during that time. Ocampo said:
The evidence shows that directly and through Mr. Harun, Mr. Hussein played a central role in coordinating the crimes, including in recruiting, mobilizing, funding, arming, training and the deployment of the Militia/Janjaweed as part of the Government of the Sudan forces, with the knowledge that these forces would commit the crimes.Ocampo said Hussein is still presumed innocent and will be given an opportunity to defend himself. Ocampo is scheduled to brief the UN Security Council on this issue on December 15.
This will be the fourth case the ICC will be hearing in relation to crimes committed in Darfur. The ICC has already issued warrants for Ahmad Muhammad Harun [arrest warrant, PDF], former Sudanese interior minister and current humanitarian affairs minister, President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir [case materials, PDF], and Ali Kushayb [arrest warrant, PDF], former senior Janjaweed commander. Sudan continues to be uncooperative [JURIST report] in executing these warrants which prompted Ocampo to file for a non-cooperation ruling under article 87 of the Rome Statute [text] in April, 2010. Sudan has repeatedly rejected the ICC's jurisdiction [JURIST report] over the Darfur situation.