July 29, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese government will request the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the authority of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to refer cases to the International Criminal Court, an official said.
- Judges at the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, in The Hague, the Netherlands (AP)
The head of the legislation committee in the National Assembly Badria Sulieman said that the UNSC cannot ask a state which is not party to the ICC to comply with the world court requests.
The UNSC referred the Darfur case to the ICC in March 31, 2005 based on the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur formed in 2004.
The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked pre-trial judges last week to issue arrest warrants for Al-Bashir.
Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. Judges are expected to take months to study the evidence before deciding whether to order Al-Bashir’s arrest.
The Sudanese official said that the Sudanese president enjoys immunity in accordance with national and international laws and therefore the judges “cannot stop him through the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)”.
But the ICC statue states that “official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility”.
If an arrest warrant is issued all countries which are parties to the ICC have an obligation to apprehend Al-Bashir if he arrives on their territory.
Last week the Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade told his Sudanese counterpart during a phone conversation that he will not be able to offer him refuge if there is an arrest warrant for him.
Wade speaking from Chicago told Senegal News Agency (APS) that he informed Al-Bashir that they are party to the ICC and they cannot “make an exception”.