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ICC judges seek more information before ruling on arrest warrant for al-Bashir

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday requested [court order, PDF] more information on an arrest warrant application for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for atrocities committed in the country's Darfur region [JURIST news archive]. The pretrial chamber requested that Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] submit “additional supporting materials in relation to some confidential aspects” of his application no later than November 17, 2008. The ICC’s request coincided with the start of a three-day peace conference in Khartoum, which included delegates from dozens of political parties and civic groups in Sudan. Rebel groups from the western Sudanese region, however, were not in attendance, dismissing the meeting as an attempt by al-Bashir to whitewash his reputation and avoid international prosecution. AFP has more.

Moreno-Ocampo applied for the arrest warrant [application, PDF; JURIST report] last July for crimes al-Bashir allegedly committed in the Darfur region of Sudan. The application, which followed a three-year investigation involving more than 100 witnesses in 18 countries, began in 2005 with the referral of the situation to the Office of the Chief Prosecutor [JURIST report]. This past June, Moreno-Ocampo stated before the UN Security Council [official website] that “evidence shows that the commission of such crimes on such a scale, over a period of five years, and throughout Darfur, has required the sustained mobilization of the entire Sudanese state apparatus.” The Security Council has repeatedly called on Sudan to comply with the ICC investigation [JURIST report], but Sudan has refused to do so, labeling Moreno-Ocampo a "terrorist" [JURIST report] and suggesting that he should be removed from office.

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