Bashir to be handed over to ICC after local charges

Omar al Bashir. The former President faces economic crimes cases that could stretch over to criminal ones. [File, Standard]
The new administration in Sudan has given its first major indication that it could hand over former President Omar al Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face crimes against humanity charges.

Sudanese Minister for Justice Nasreen Abdulbari said Bashir’s fate was first in the hands of the country’s Judiciary who will have to decide a number of corruption cases he is facing.

Economic crimes

The minister told the Saturday Standard that Bashir currently faces ‘serious’ economic crimes cases which could stretch over to criminal ones.

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“There is still a lot that we are still considering, including criminal charges if people come out to raise any,” said Abdulbari.

Bashir is currently held at the Kobar Maximum Security prison where he was moved to a few months from a private detention at an undisclosed place after he was deposed in a military coup five months protest.

The uprising was started by the public biting economic crimes that saw prices of essential commodities including bread and oil skyrocket.

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In an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) 42nd Human Rights Conference at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Abdul Bari said they were signatories to the convention and it was therefore possible they could hand him over.

“We however also have some cases he must answer first; the cases will likely increase to include criminal charges. This will inform whether we will release him soon or later,” he said.

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The Justice Minister said that Prime Minister Hamdok, would give direction on the matter soon.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) had accused Bashir of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur, where thousands of people were killed by the Janjaweed militia alleged to be supported by his regime.

Despite an international arrest warrant issued by the ICC, Bashir went ahead to rule the country for 14 years after he won consecutive elections in 2010 and 2015.

The ICC gave out an arrest warrant that led to an international travel ban.

As part of healing, the administration has proposed setting up of a national commission that could complicate matters for the former strongman who ruled Sudan from 1989.

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The Sudanese government has invited both the UN Organisation for Human Rights to set up office in Khartoum and a presence in other major towns to improve human rights situation.

They have also written to CEDAW and other rights agencies to have a powerful presence in Sudan as part of  entrenching human rights in the country.

Two terms

Before being toppled from government, Bashir’s closes allies had begun the campaign to have him run a third term against Sudan’s constitution that confined a president to serve for only two terms.

There was a two-month tussle regarding who between the civilians and the military should lead the transition government, a push and pull that saw tens of protesters killed.

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“We will also go for those who gave orders for the killing of the protesters; we want to build a country that follows the rule of law, said Abdulbari.

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SudanInternational Criminal CourtOmar al Bashir