News / Africa

Appeals Court says ICC Could Charge Sudan President with Genocide

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Appeals court judges have ruled the International Criminal Court was wrong to decide Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir could not be charged with genocide for his actions on Darfur. 

The ruling by the appeals judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague was unanimous.

The appeals judges ruled to reverse a previous court decision, saying it had used an overly high standard of proof to dismiss genocide charges against Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir. 

Last year, the court charged Mr. Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity - including murder, extermination, torture and rape.  Seven years of conflict in Sudan's Darfur province have killed about 300,000 people and displaced nearly three million.

Amnesty International senior legal advisor Christopher Hall hailed the appeal judges' ruling.

"I think little by little, the vice is closing in on him and at some point he will have to face a trial in the International Criminal Court in the same way that President Milosevic or President Taylor or numerous other officials from Rwanda and Sierra Leone have had to face trials," said Christopher Hall.

In remarks to the Associated Press news agency, a spokesman for the Sudanese government dismissed the court's decision as having no consequence, and said Mr. Bashir would run for re-election in April.  While several countries have ignored the court's international arrest warrant against Mr. Bashir, he is increasingly isolated.

The court's arrest warrant against Mr. Bashir is its first against a sitting head of state. 
 

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