Home | News    Wednesday 11 March 2009

ICC prosecutor press judges for ruling on rebel case by Wednesday

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March 10, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno-Ocampo submitted a new request to the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber I last Friday asking them to decide on a case he submitted last November against three unidentified Darfur rebel figures.

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber I (ICC Website)

The prosecutor’s application that was made public today came few days after the judges rejected his request to consider the evidence against the rebel commanders on an expedited basis.

At the time the Pre-Trial Chamber I said that they were preparing for their March 4th decision on the case against Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

They also informed the prosecutor that “in light of the complexity of several aspects of the Prosecution Application” they will in the future refuse to take into account any request for expedited proceedings” or “decide in a manner detrimental to the fundamental rights of the persons for whom warrants of arrest or summonses to appear are requested”.

The ICC’s third case on Darfur, opened in late 2007, investigates a rebel attack on the Haskanita military base that left 10 African Union (AU) soldiers dead and one missing.

The counts against the rebel leaders in the case filed under seal included war crimes of violence to life, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.

Ocampo appealed again for a quick ruling saying the composition of the Pre-Trial Chamber I may change after new judges are sworn in.

“The Prosecution notes that the decision on Omar Al Bashir was issued on 4 of March and that new Judges will be sworn in on 11 March 2009, and that this may have an impact on the current composition of the Pre-Trial Chambers of the Court including possibly PTC I” the filing read.

“The Prosecution is of the view that if PTC I were to be reconstituted before a decision on the Application is rendered, the new PTC will require substantial additional time to acquaint itself with the Situation”.

Furthermore the prosecutor said that “the complexity of some issues in the case, as already observed by PTC I…. a newly constituted PTC I may not be in a position to render a decision on the Prosecution’s Application within a short period of time”.

It is not clear why the prosecutor has been persistently pushing the judges for a verdict but it is likely related to chances of the suspects appearing voluntarily in court.

It is not uncommon for the prosecutor to ask judges for expedited consideration on his applications. Similar requests were made in other cases being handled by the court.

One example is the case against former vice president of Congo Jean Pierre Bemba where the prosecutor said that a quick decision was needed on his application as they have received intelligence that he plans to leave Belgium where he resided which posed risks that he could not be apprehended afterwards.

The judges granted the request enabling the ICC to nab Bemba in Belgium within two weeks of the prosecutor’s application.

Ocampo filed a request with the Chamber on 22nd and 24th December of last year asking for permission to notify the rebel commanders that they have been named as suspects in the application.

The prosecutor justified his request by saying that the notification will enable the rebel commanders to “appear before the Court at an appropriate time”. However the chamber denied the request.

On February 23rd Ocampo informed the judges that he has sent a mission to an undisclosed location “to conduct an interview under Article 55 of the Rome Statute”

Article 55 of the Rome Statute deals with the right of person during the investigation which could indicate that the individual interviewed is one of the suspects who informed the prosecutor of his willingness to turn himself in the event he is indicted.

Two days later the prosecutor filed his request for expedited consideration of the case and noted that it addressed the issue of visas for the suspects.

“In the course of its efforts to explore securing visas for [REDACTED,] it has become clear that a decision of the Court would facilitate the successful outcome of these visa procedures” the filing read.

“Taking into consideration the additional information provided and in the interest of judicial economy, the Prosecution respectfully requests the Chamber to render an expedited decision on the Prosecution’s Application before 11 March 2009”

At this stage the prosecutor appears to be leaning towards a summons rather than an arrest warrant for the rebel suspects.

The ICC prosecutor in his November 20th application left the door open for an issuing a summons to appear rather than an arrest warrant if the rebel commanders cooperate.

Ocampo told Agence France Presse (AFP) last year that “while the judges decide on the warrants, they [suspects] now have the chance to appear on their own accord. They know who they are”.

All major Darfur rebel movements have publicly announced that they will cooperate with the ICC even if asked to surrender themselves over in connection with the Haskanita attack.

Sudan refuses to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC saying it has not ratified the treaty establishing the court. Currently there are three ICC arrest warrants pending for president Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs, and militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also know as Ali Kushayb.

Khartoum has also said that they will not accept that any Sudanese citizens including rebels to be extradited to The Hague.

(ST)

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  • 11 March 2009 12:13, by Kon Paul Awenchol

    Mr:Moreno the rebel figures that you made a request to your judges to help you in filing for some charges against,are the people who were defending themselves from what you have well discovered from president Bashir regime of masterminding or[getting ride of the three tribes of Western Darfur]I Think your court is well but now going for some diversification if you fall on that track.the rape,tortured,imperalism,depravity system of pres Basher by which Hassen Al-Turbi and his wife accused him for the previous month of jan 2009 are very magnificience to the community and parties of Sudan.hereinafter let’s your delicate brain proved the rightous of FUR people in general.for some days ago your judges has well disproved the case which you perilousily paid against the rebels figuers.

    repondre message

    • 11 March 2009 17:12, by Buk Dan Buk

      No, Mr. Moreno is absolutely right for doing that. Those rebels are responsible for killing peace keepers. They should have not open gun fire on them at the first place. They definitely knew what they were doing.
      Mr. Moreno must consider this case very strongly like the one for mr president Omar. There is no room for error this time. Justice must deal with anyone who tend to poses any killing to innocent people like darfurian and others.
      Sudanese government must consider these to keep them out of troubles. They must also know all this propaganda are from Former colonise and some western. We must set up good security this time to protect us from outside people who are trying to hurt our economic and our citizens.

      repondre message

      • 11 March 2009 19:18, by Kon Paul Awenchol

        NO mr:BUK DAN,do you know, Sudan has gone to a mutual loggered ahead from those who have arm themselves and antoganize regime of Khartuom because of marginalization in Sudan.I do not know now whether you are a second class citizen in your own country, the thing now is like what had happen in Southern Sudan you better know-all and you got abe told for the system you favuored. iam here by reiterated to you that these people are defending their community and their economic resources, why for economic security,development, education,health, water,electric power and soforth.this is the tag of war in Darfur,it is economic war but please you may better get the charges file by EE OCAMPO.

        repondre message

        • 11 March 2009 22:40, by Buk Dan Buk

          Mr. Kon. I think I understood your point but what I am saying is this. ANYONE WHO KILL A HUMANBEING MUST FACE JUSTICE. Those peace keepers were not threating anyone, they were there to protect the IDP. That is what I want you to understand.

          repondre message

  • 12 March 2009 06:42, by Hamid mohamedkhair

    It is throwing dust in the eyes of the observers. Okambo’s case against Albashir is weak, biased and self defeating.
    It is a blow to the ICC as many countries are now considering withdrawals from the statute of Rome. Signatories and drafters of the statute of Rome were after having an international court that deals with the crimes in total respect of their consent. Now Okambo, with the help of the humanitarian business lobbies, have change that dream into another yet unjust tool for the strong powers in the world against the weak.
    Can anyone of us dream of having anyone from the so-called developed world to be tried before this court?
    Those who are responsible for the massacres in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Those who are responsible for the atrocities in the jails, ports and airports of the “free nations”. Those who lied to whole world with faked evidences to invade a sovereign country.

    repondre message

  • 12 March 2009 17:49, by Kuanlualthoun

    Look how insincere the so-called ICC is, if you peace in Sudan why speeding up the arrest worrant of the president El-basheir??? Sudanese people must realize this dirty game the ICC is playing on them!!

    This ICC is a typical western club, even though they insincerely try to make look like an international one, it is still obvious that it is(ICC)dominated by western NATO which influence its decision like the one they issued against the president of Sudan! but who is going to believe them any more after their crimes in Iraq and Afganistan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the world people of today are wiser than ever!!

    repondre message

  • 12 March 2009 17:53, by Kuanlualthoun

    Look how insincere the so-called ICC is, if you want peace in Sudan,speeding up the arrest worrant of the president El-basheir??? Sudanese people must realize this dirty game
    the ICC is playing on them!!

    This ICC is a typical western club, even though they insincerely try to make it look like an international one, it is still obvious that it is(ICC)dominated by western NATO, which influence its decisions( like the one they issued against the president of Sudan) but who is going to believe them any more after their crimes in Iraq and Afganistan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the world people of today are wiser than ever, they can’t be cheated as they are well informed plus their experiences who those cowed westerners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nasir oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    repondre message

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