International Criminal Court 1

The International Criminal Court 1 in The Hague, Netherlands will today hold a pre-trial hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is the president of Sudan and head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. In March 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting president to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur. The first warrant for arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir was issued on 4 March 2009, the second on 12 July 2010. The arrest warrant is supported by NATO, the Genocide Intervention Network, and Amnesty International. The second warrant, as with the first, were delivered to the Sudanese government, which did not recognize it nor the ICC. Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statute establishing the ICC, and thus claims that it does not have to execute the warrant. Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Omar al-Bashir acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. Until Omar al-Bashir is arrested and transferred to the seat of the Court in The Hague, the case will remain in the Pre-Trial stage. The ICC does not try individuals unless they are present in the courtroom.