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ICC calls on Sudan to make observations over legal questions raised by Jordan

The IC headquarters in The Hague (AFP/Martijn Beekman Photo)
May 25, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Friday called for observations by the Sudanese government and President Omer al-Bashir over the legal questions raised by Jordan over its case against the Sudanese leader.

The Hague-based court in December 2017 accused Jordan, which is a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC, of failing to arrest al-Bashir - when he was on Jordanian territory to participate in an Arab League summit on 29 March 2017 - in compliance with its obligations under the Rome Statute and decided to refer the case to the Security Council.

Last March, the ICC Appeals Chamber called on the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the Organization of American States to submit observations by 16 July 2018 on the legal questions raised by Jordan in its appeal.

This time, the ICC Appeals Chamber "invited submissions, by 16 July 2018, from the competent authorities of the Republic of Sudan and Mr Omer Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir on the legal questions raised by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (“Jordan”) in its appeal pending before the Appeals Chamber," said the ICC in a statement on Friday 25 May.

Sudan since 2008 has rejected to cooperate with the ICC.

To justify its call for observations, Last March the ICC Appeals Chamber said it "noted that the legal matters raised by the appeal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan against Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision of 11 December 2017 in the Al Bashir case may have implications beyond that case".

In its appeal of March 2018, Jordan pointed out that the ICC did not take into account the immunity given to presidents. The kingdom added the Arab League charter stipulates that the host country invites all presidents.

The Appeals Chamber didn’t say when it would make its decision. But it will be the first time that it considers a referral of a State Party’s non-compliance to the Assembly of States Parties and the United Nations Security Council.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.

(ST)