On Wednesday Sudan decided to hand former Sudanese President Omar-al Bashir to the International Criminal Court.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Marian al-Mahdi said that Al Bashir will be handed over together with other officials wanted for their role in the conflict in Darfur.
The decision to hand him over came during a visit to Sudan by ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan. The decision was made during a meeting between the foreign ministry and Khan.
Al Bashir, 77 , has been wanted by the ICC since March 2009 when he was charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Leila Sadat, professor of international law at Washington University in St. Louis, commented on the significance of this decision: ‘It is extraordinary. First, it shows the importance of taking the long view with respect to the arrest and indictment of high-ranking international defendants. Just because they evade arrest temporarily, doesn’t mean that the decision to indict them in the first place was wrong headed. It is simply a function of the international legal system that provides much greater protection to the powerful than to their victims.’
‘It is also a vindication not only of the prosecutor’s decision to indict President al Bashir, but of the appeals chamber judgment refusing him immunity before the ICC. Finally, it is a wonderful tribute to the people of Sudan who have chosen to be governed in a new way under the rule of law and to embrace democratic principles. The international community should support the ICC and its work, and should also help the people of Sudan who are still struggling with al Bashir’s legacy of corruption and violence’ said Sadat.
The ICC has also charged two other senior figures from al-Bashir’s time in office: Abdel-Rahim Muhammad Hussein, interior and defense minister during much of the conflict, and Ahmed Haroun, a senior security chief at the time and later the leader of al-Bashir’s ruling party
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