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ICC agrees with Sudan to extradite ousted president

Karim Khan, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor holds a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan on 12 August 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]
Karim Khan, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor holds a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan on 12 August 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Asad Khan, announced on Thursday that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Sudan for the extradition of wanted persons to The Hague, most notably ousted President Omar Al-Bashir. Khan made the announcement at the conclusion of a visit to Khartoum that was extended for several days.

The ICC official pointed out that the agreement signed with Sudan by the court's former prosecutor only included Ali Kushayb, who is being tried before the court.

Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, announced on Wednesday the government's decision to hand over Al-Bashir and two of his aides wanted over alleged atrocities in Darfur. She stressed Sudan's keenness to "achieve justice" for the victims.

"I made a decision," added Khan, "and the Sudanese government agreed, to have a permanent office in Khartoum comprising 18 people that would enable us to obtain evidence and complete investigations about the four wanted persons in court. This was difficult to achieve under the previous regime, but now with the transitional government, we are moving forward."

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Last week, the Sudanese cabinet approved the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was considered a new step towards trying Al-Bashir before the international body. The former president is currently in Kobar Prison in Khartoum. He was arrested after being overthrown in April 2019 following massive popular protests.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir in 2009 on charges of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the armed conflict in Darfur that erupted in 2003 and resulted in the death of more than 300,000 people.

The court also issued two arrest warrants for two of the former leader's assistants, namely Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein and Ahmad Haroun, who are also in Kobar Prison. In early May, Haroun asked to be referred to the ICC after appearing before a government investigation committee.

The Sovereignty Council of Sudan, which is the highest authority in the country and includes civilians and military members, promised upon assuming power in February 2020 to try Al-Bashir before the ICC. The ousted president is also being tried in Sudan on the charge of carrying out a military coup in June 1989.

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AfricaICCInternational OrganisationsNewsSudan
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