Bashir’s challenge to the ICC – can the court respond?

August 20, 2008

bashir-in-istanbul.jpgInternational prosecutors’ pursuit of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged genocide has not curtailed his travel schedule. He is in Turkey this week, defiant and saying the move by the International Criminal Court has backfired — his hold on power is stronger than ever.

Bashir gave an exclusive interview to Reuters, his first since ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he was seeking a warrant for his arrest.

Here are excerpts from the conversation with Reuters:

“The decision of the ICC prosecutor is already soldifying our internal front, the internal front of our Sudanese people, and that is the source of our power and we will fight their

“…we don’t give a damn about the precedents set by those going to court.”

“We are not concerned about travelling, ourselves, we have good relations with a number of countries that do not have relations with the ICC.”

Does Bashir’s trip to Turkey (which isn’t a signatory to the ICC) show him to be above the law? How can the ICC respond, with no police force of its own to enforce its rulings even if it does issue a warrant for Bashir’s arrest?

African and Arab states want the court moves put on hold, fearing they would only make it harder to bring peace to Darfur. Oil producing Sudan’s close ally China has also voiced concern at the attempt to put Bashir on trial.

Can the ICC prosecutor prevail?


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