International Criminal Court Issues Another Warrant for Sudanese President Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pretrial Chamber I has issued another arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir.  This decision follows an earlier direction from the appeals chamber, detailed here, that determined that the Pre-Trial Chamber had used the wrong standard in failing to indict Bashir for genocide.

Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by an international tribunal and have a warrant issued for his arrest, he now also bears the distinction of being the first person to be indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court and the first person for whom an arrest warrant for genocide was issued.  There are now two arrest warrants out for Bashir.  The ICC’ press release is available here.

The situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by the U.N. Security Council. Sudan is not a signatory to the  ICC treaty.  Bashir and the minister of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan, Ahmad Harun are the Sudanese government officials who have been indicted.  Ali Kushayab, reputed head of the Janjaweed militia has also been indicted.  None of those three have appeared before the court.  Three other accused from Sudan have appeared voluntarily before the court.  Of the three who have voluntarily appeared, one,  Bahar Idriss Abu Garda had his case dismissed at the confirmation of charges hearing.  The other two are awaiting their confirmation of charges hearings.

Sudan was referred to the ICC for investigation of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.  Several victims have been granted the right to participate in these cases when they commence.  Persons who are victims of war crimes have a right to participate in the ICC cases and to seek reparations if there is a conviction.