Although the cloud of the first day has passed since the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, visited Khartoum; However, her meetings with Sudanese government officials did not answer the major questions regarding the manner in which the applicants of the Hague Tribunal were brought.
In the first visit to Bensouda, the defense team of the ousted President Omar Al-Bashir has nothing but anticipation pending the outcome of the visit, which included meetings in the presidential palace, in which Al-Bashir lived for 30 years, of which he spent more than 10 years while he resisted the court.
According to lawyer Muhammad al-Hasan al-Amin, a member of the defense committee for al-Bashir, the commission will not seek to meet Bensouda, and it will not seek clarifications from the government regarding her visit as long as the visit does not affect the defendants whom the commission is defending, before adding, “If they are asked, we know how to deal with it.” .
But in the context of the statements made by Bensouda, her visit aims to discuss with the Sudanese authorities other arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court in relation to committing crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.
Bensouda’s arrival in Sudan revived the hopes of those demanding the extradition of Al-Bashir and the rest of those wanted by the International Criminal Court, who called with him to return the Darfur case in the court to the investigation stage.
According to Nafisa Hajar, head of the Human Rights and Freedoms Secretariat at the Darfur Lawyers Association, the cases before the Criminal Court took place between 2003-2005, which are limited crimes compared to the grave violations that the Darfur region witnessed after that.
Nafisa tells Al-Jazeera Net that the evidence, evidence, witnesses, and everything on which the court relies needs updating for the length of time and interruption that the case witnessed until the fall of Al-Bashir on April 11, 2019, and until the arrest of Ali Kushayb, a leader of the Janjaweed militia, last June.
In 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012, the court issued arrest warrants for both Al-Bashir, former Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, former Minister of Interior Ahmed Haroun, and Koshaib on charges of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
Nafisa notes that there are reports that the victims have not been able to open in connection with the crimes with constitutional or influential people in the former regime.
She adds that for a coherent case, the court must work on the ground, listen to the witnesses who attended the facts, draw a preliminary design for the crime scene in Darfur, and conduct a full field investigation.
And she continues, “Now the case has moved from the investigation to the court, and I do not know whether the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court allows the report to be returned to the investigation stage?”
And stresses that Bensouda’s meetings with government officials must remove the confusion about the multiplicity of voices calling for criminal trials to take place inside Sudan, or in another country in the region, or to take place at the headquarters of the court in The Hague.
And remember that there must be a clear agreement between the International Criminal Court and the Sudanese government, represented by the Ministry of Justice, which clearly states that Al-Bashir and his aides will be handed over to Sudan after the trial because there are other cases facing them, so that they do not seek asylum to another country if they are acquitted.
It reveals that the Darfur Lawyers’ Association requested a meeting with Bensouda to hand over a memorandum demanding the re-investigation, along with another memorandum for the Sovereignty Council and the Ministers, the Ministry of Justice, and the Attorney General requesting an agreement with the International Court guaranteeing the return of the accused after their trial.
Ways to appear
Since the negotiating member of the government delegation, Muhammad Hassan Al-Taishi, from Juba, announced last February the agreement to appear before the Criminal Court, there has been confusion about the method of this appearance, and does the agreement mean his extradition to The Hague?
According to Mohamed Hassan Haroun, Media Secretary of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Jinnah Minni Arko Minawi, the negotiations in Juba discussed the term appearance at length.
Haroun told Al-Jazeera Net, “What is important is that the trial takes place in accordance with the Rome Statute, the place is not a fundamental thing; what is important is the party that will conduct the trial.”
The armed movements, which have led a rebellion in Darfur since 2003, are among the most prominent stakeholders, calling for the trial of those wanted by the International Criminal Court.
According to Haroun, the movement supports the visit of the court prosecutor, saying that the visit is a demand for the people of Darfur, and therefore the movement considers it a natural and a serious step to achieve justice, and it leaves a good effect on the families of the victims.
He believes that Al-Bashir’s trial through the Hague court fulfills one of the pillars of the December revolution’s slogan of “freedom, peace and justice.”
On the other hand, a member of the defense committee for al-Bashir and the leader of the dissolved National Congress Party, Muhammad al-Hassan al-Amin, believes that their position towards the court remains firm in that it is a political and selective court that does not rule with justice.
And stresses that the Sudanese judiciary is capable after the revolution and desperately desires to try those wanted by the International Criminal Court, and doubts about the ability that prevailed during the previous regime have disappeared, thus dropping the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court.
He considered the handover or appearance of Al-Bashir before this court, who was the commander of the army and represented his honor, as inappropriate, and warned that if the army allowed him to this court, the investigations would draw a lot of information and people, and Sudan would become a plunder of many trials.
Since the outbreak of war in Darfur in 2003, officials of the former regime and leaders of the army and the Rapid Support Forces, who are still in service, have been involved in human rights violations that call for accountability, according to observers.
He attributes the delay in the criminal trial of wanted persons before national courts to the nature of the cases in which Al-Bashir was tried, and he is currently being tried; Like the June 30, 1989 coup case, which takes too long.
Bensouda had held intensive meetings on the first day of her visit, which extends until next Wednesday, and included Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, a member of the Sovereignty Council, Muhammad al-Hassan al-Taishi, and Minister of Justice Nasreddin Abdul-Bari.
Sudanese government officials expressed their willingness to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, without any clarifications. Whether this cooperation will include the extradition of Al-Bashir and the rest of those wanted by the International Criminal Court.