Home | News    Sunday 19 February 2006

Only Sudanese judiciary can try Darfur war crimes - al-Bashir

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Feb 18, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — President Omer al-Bashir, has stressed that the Sudanese Judiciary has solely the jurisdiction of ruling in cases in Sudan, especially that in Darfur, the official SUNA reported

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Omar el-Bashir

In his address at the celebration marking the Golden Jubilee of the Judiciary Saturday, al-Bashir affirmed the government full confidence in the Judiciary and judges for realizing justice and the rule of law.

He pointed out that the Judiciary is capable to provide public fair trials and the right of defence for any defendant, safeguard the human rights and to simplify the legal procedures for all people.

He referred to the role of the Judiciary for quelling "the fire of the sedition" in Darfur.

The International Criminal Court investigates war crimes in Darfur, as the U.N. Security Council had mandated it to do.

The Sudanese government opposes the International Criminal Court, insisting it can prosecute any war criminals in its own courts. The ICC investigation is the first to be carried out against the will of the country where the alleged crimes occurred.

The ICC, which is based in the Netherlands, has a list of 51 suspects — including Sudanese government officials, pro-government militiamen and rebels — that was compiled by a U.N. panel which reported on the Darfur conflict last year.

Among the 51 names listed are "military and civilians about whom there is much convincing evidence”, said Antonio Cassese, an Italian law professor, who led the United Nations commission of inquiry on Darfur crimes.

That evidence includes accounts from senior military officers that the Sudanese government "openly uses militia gangs, gives them weapons and salaries and tells them to kill and burn and it backs them up with planes and helicopters," Mr. Cassese said. "There is no restraint. More than 2,000 villages have been burnt. The scale of looting, raping and torture is horrible."

(ST)

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