Pre-Trial Chamber I issues a second warrant of arrest against Omar Al Bashir for counts of genocide
Case: The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir
Situation: Darfur, Sudan
Today, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a second warrant of arrest against the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, considering that there are reasonable grounds to believe him responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups, that include: genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm and genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group conditions of life calculated to bring about the group’s physical destruction.
This second arrest warrant does not replace or revoke in any respect the first warrant of arrest issued against Mr Al Bashir on 4 March, 2009, which shall thus remain in effect. In the previous arrest warrant, the Chamber considered that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Al Bashir is criminally responsible for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape) and two counts for war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities, and pillaging).
On 4 March, 2009, Pre-Trial Chamber I had rejected the Prosecutor’s application in respect of the crime of genocide. On 6 July, 2009, the Prosecutor filed an appeal against this decision. On 3 February, 2010, the Appeals Chamber rendered its judgment on the Prosecutor’s appeal, reversing, by unanimous decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision of 4 March, 2009, to the extent that Pre-Trial Chamber I decided “not to issue a warrant of arrest in respect of the charge of genocide in view of an erroneous standard of proof”. The Appeals Chamber directed the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide anew whether or not the arrest warrant should be extended to cover the charge of genocide. Applying the standard of proof as identified by the Appeals Chamber, Pre-Trial Chamber I concluded today that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Al Bashir acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.
Pre-Trial Chamber I requests the Registrar of the Court to prepare a supplementary request for co-operation seeking the arrest and surrender of Mr Al Bashir for the counts contained in both the first and the second warrant of arrest, and transmit such a request to the competent Sudanese authorities, to all States Parties to the Rome Statute, and to all the United Nations Security Council members that are not States Parties to the Statute. The Registrar is also directed to transmit additional requests for the arrest and surrender of Omar Al Bashir to the Court to any other State as may be necessary.
The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Security Council’s resolution 1593, on 31 March, 2005. In this situation, four cases are being heard: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”); The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir; The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda and The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus.
The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international court established with the mission to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes.