ICC Spokesperson: Court crimes are not subject to statute of limitations
Khartoum, May 23 (SUNA) – Ali Muhammad Ali Abd–Al-Rahman (Kushayb), suspected of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur, appears before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands, tomorrow (Monday) for confirmation of charges.
In this regard, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) conducted a press interview with ICC Spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah on this session and other topics related to the court:-
SUNA: What exactly will the ICC judges look into in the case of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd–Al-Rahman during the session tomorrow?
Fadi: They look at the issue of confirming the charges, that is, knowing whether the file of the court’s prosecutor has sufficient evidence to hold a trial or not.
SUNA: If they decide that it is not enough, will the suspect be released?
SUNA: Is it true that the number of people wanted by the International Criminal Court is “51” accused?
Fadi: No, the wanted people now, five, including Ali Kushayb. As for the four, they are: former President Omer al-Bashir, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun, Abd al-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, and Abdullah Banda.
SUNA: Can new persons be added, through new evidence or confessions made by Ali Muhammad Ali Kushayb, or witnesses during the trial?
Fadi: The ICC Prosecutor takes these evidence and confessions, examines them, and then if she deems it sufficient evidence, then she asks the judges of the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants, or the presence of these new people.
SUNA: What about the remaining wanted persons?
Fadi: – Those whom the government is currently detaining, either hand them over to the International Criminal Court, or the Sudanese authorities try them themselves, for the same criminal acts that the ICC pursues them. And if the Sudanese government decides that it will try them on its own, then it may ask the International Criminal Court to stop the cases before it, and then the judges of the International Criminal Court decide whether they accept this request and stop the cases and leave them for the Sudanese national judiciary, or they reject the request, and ICC continue to seek to surrender them to it, and therefore the matter is up to the Sudanese authorities. Will they try them on their own, or will they hand them over to the court?
SUNA: – Are the crimes that were committed in the “sit-in dispersal” in Khartoum on June 3, 2019, considered war crimes or crimes against humanity, and could be examined by the International Criminal Court?
Fadi: – The court cannot issue legal descriptions of a crime until after it examines it, and as we said that this issue is outside the jurisdiction of the court, and it cannot look into it, because it is only limited to Darfur, and for this reason I cannot give a legal description to a subject outside the jurisdiction of the court.
SUNA: – How does it become subject to the jurisdiction of the court?
Fadi: – At the request of the UN Security Council, or at the request of the Sudanese government. The crimes that are being considered by the court now are confined to the Darfur region, at the request of the UN Security Council, and the UN Security Council has not submitted another request..
SUNA: If a government came in the future and requested an investigation into the incidents of the sit-in dispersal in 2019, would these crimes be statutory limit?
Fadi: – There is no statute of limitations for crimes that are considered by the International Criminal Court at any time, whenever there is a jurisdiction.
SUNA: Have the Sudanese authorities submitted a request for the extradition of those wanted by the ICC, and is the same is made through the Attorney General?
Fadi: – There is no request submitted by the Sudanese government on this matter, and such a request can be submitted by the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, according to the Sudanese constitution and charters.
SUNA: – If a state in the Security Council, out of the ten non-permanent members, referred to you war crimes, such as those committed by Israel in Gaza, shall the ICC consider the request, or must the entire Security Council approve the request?
Fadi: No, as you know the Prosecutor has opened an investigation into Palestine, which is a state party to the Rome Statute, and there is no need for a request from the Security Council. In principle, if the Security Council wants to refer an issue to the court, unanimity is not required but a certain majority and the absence of the right of veto.
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