International Criminal Court rules on former Sudanese President al-Bashir’s immunity

International Criminal Court rules on former Sudanese President al-Bashir’s immunity

Today, the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber will rule on whether Omar al-Bashir, the deposed president of Sudan, is subject

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Photo: Nikkei

Today, the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber will rule on whether Omar al-Bashir, the deposed president of Sudan, is subject to the court’s jurisdiction.

The ICC first issued a warrant for Mr Bashir’s arrest in 2009 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity—the first sitting head-of-state to receive an arrest warrant. A second warrant, alleging genocide, followed in 2010. The case has been ongoing, although the former president has visited countries that are party to the court, like Jordan, without being arrested.

However, the UN Security Council has given official support for the court to pursue the investigation, particularly after Mr Bashir was deposed on April 11.

Meanwhile, protests continue to rage in Sudan amid the change in leadership. A transitional council, made up of military officials, and civilians have clashed repeatedly. Fears abound that Sudan could slip back into authoritarianism, even as the military has promised to split power with a civilian government.

Today’s decision will likely affirm that Bashir is subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction. With high political uncertainty, the military could quell some discontent by handing over Mr Bashir, currently under house arrest, to the ICC.

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