No-genocide ruling on Bashir appealed

Omar al-Bashir was charged with war crimes in March. Omar al-Bashir was charged with war crimes in March.
Associated Press / July 8, 2009
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have appealed the tribunal’s decision not to indict Sudan’s president on charges of waging genocide in Darfur, according to a document released yesterday.

The court charged Omar al-Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity in March for allegedly orchestrating a campaign of murder, torture, rape, and forced expulsions in Darfur province. But judges said there was insufficient evidence to merit charging him with genocide.

Bashir is the first sitting head of state indicted by the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal since it was established in 2002.

But Sudan’s president defiantly refuses to recognize the court’s jurisdiction, and African Union leaders said Friday that they would not arrest and extradite him.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo rejected the stance yesterday after meeting with AU officials in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa for talks on Darfur.

“The AU is not a signatory of the charter,’’ said Moreno Ocampo. “Individual nations are.’’ He said 30 African nations have signed the court’s founding document, which obliges them to cooperate with the court.