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ICC pre-trial court ends confirmation of charges hearing against Kushayb

Ali Kushayb during the opening of the confirmation of charges hearing at the seat of the ICC in The Hague on 24 May 2021(ICC photo)
26 May 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The pre-trial judges ended the hearing on the confirmation of charges against Ali Kushayb a militia leader suspected of war crimes in Darfur, the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Wednesday.

During the 3-day hearing, the ICC General Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the judges that Kushayb committed 31 crimes against civilians in West Darfur state.

"After hearing the oral submissions of the Prosecutor, the Legal Representatives of the Victims and the Defence from 24 to 26 May, the judges heard their respective closing statements and will now start their deliberations," said the court in a statement on Wednesday.

The ICC judges recalled that the purpose of the hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence for his trial.

Within 60 days the court will decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence for the charges made by the prosecution.

"If the charges are confirmed, in full or in part, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber," stressed the statement.

The pre-trial court could also decide that there is no sufficient evidence and release Kushayb or suspend the procedure and demand further evidence from the general prosecutor.

Bensouda in her statement before the pre-trial court stressed their readiness to produce the evidence they have for all the 31 crimes.

"Our evidence, we submit, will bear out the facts, the criminality and ultimately culpability in this case. My team and I are ready to present the Prosecution’s case for the purposes of this confirmation of charges hearings," she said.

Further, she cited extracts from the statements made by victims of rape, killing and torture.