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Sudan: Location of Bashir’s Trial Remains Undetermined

Sudan: Location of Bashir’s Trial Remains Undetermined

Tuesday, 18 February, 2020 - 12:00
Sudan's former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir sits guarded inside a cage at the courthouse (File photo: Reuters)
Khartoum- Mohammed Amin Yassine

The trial of ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes may take place in Sudan or an African country, most likely Arusha in Tanzania, according to Sudanese sources.


The sources said that the Sudanese authorities had not yet contacted the International Criminal Court about Bashir's trial outside its headquarters in The Hague.


Information Minister Faisal Salih told Reuters that Sudan could send al-Bashir and other suspects to The Hague for trial before the ICC, but any decision would need approval from military and civilian rulers.


“One possibility is that the ICC will come here so they will be appearing before the ICC in Khartoum, or there will be a hybrid court maybe, or maybe they are going to transfer them to The Hague...That will be discussed with the ICC,” said Salih.


Bashir faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the Darfur war.


The Sudanese government and armed movements agreed last Tuesday to bring the wanted men to the Court, without specifying the location of the trial.


Earlier, head of Sudan’s ruling council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told Asharq Al-Awsat that court appearance doesn’t mean yielding to the court.


Last week, Burhan pledged to bring to justice anyone who committed a crime during the past 30 years.


Meanwhile, the ICC denied the arrival of a delegation headed by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to Khartoum to discuss court appearance of the wanted persons.


Sources have indicated that consultations are taking place between the institutions of the transitional authority to hold the trial inside Sudan, with the participation of judges from the ICC.


In addition to Bashir, other former officials are on trial including former defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, former chair of National Congress Party, Ahmed Haroun, who are in Kobar prison, north of central Khartoum, and the militia leader Ali Kushayb, whose whereabouts are unknown.


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