By Wasil Ali
March 1, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese interior minister threatened to behead any person attempting to arrest the individuals indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Ahmed Mohamed Haroun
The London based Al Hayat newspaper Thursday March 1 quoted Zubair Bashir Taha as saying that his government will kill any party seeking to apprehend Sudanese officials to bring him before the ICC.
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo announced on Tuesday Feb 27 that he filed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Ahmed Mohamed Haorun the Sudanese minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kosheib.
Taha stated that if the ICC wants to try criminals committing war crimes then it needs to start with US president George Bush and British Prime minister Tony Blair for using weapons of mass destruction and phosphorous bombs in Iraq, southern Lebanon and Afghanistan. He pointed out that the ICC accuses his government of “burning straw huts while Bush and Blair burned towns with their fighter jets”.
The Sudanese government rejected the ICC’s involvement in Darfur calling it "illegitimate" and said it would not turn over the suspects for trial. However Al Hayat newspaper has reported that the Sudanese government is leaning towards challenging the jurisdiction of the ICC in Darfur before the judges.
Under the Rome Statue which forms the basis of the ICC, Sudan cannot challenge the jurisdiction of the court until it has conducted “genuine” national proceedings against the same individuals for the same crimes the ICC is looking into.
Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statue, but the UN Security Council triggered the provisions under the Statue that enables it to refer situations in non-State parties to the world court if it deems that it is a threat to international peace and security.
Haroun, who is one of the suspects the ICC is planning to prosecute, has declared his readiness to stand trial before the court if his government asks him to. He said that in the event the Government decided to turn him over to the ICC then he would have a just cause which he will defend with his background as judge - even though he has no faith in international judiciary.
He hailed the model presented by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein when he faced the execution sentence. "Saddam is a model aspired by any person who has an iota of manliness and valiancy because he ascended the gallows with more composure than his executioners," he said.