In a public decision, the Court's Pre-Trial Chamber has ruled on the merits of the Prosecutor's evidence against Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, finding reasonable grounds to believe they are responsible for murder, rape, torture, the forced displacement of entire villages, and other war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
"We completed an investigation under very difficult circumstances, from outside Darfur, and without exposing any of our witnesses. We transformed their stories into evidence, and now the judges have confirmed the strength of that evidence," Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said.
In 2003 and 2004, as State Minister of the Interior for the Government of the Sudan and head of the "Darfur Security desk," Ahmad Harun joined with militia/Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb to target and attack civilian populations in four villages in West Darfur. The attacks occurred when the armed conflict between the Government and rebel groups was at its most violent.
The Prosecution's case not only highlights the connection between a senior minister in the Sudanese Government and a powerful militia/Janjaweed leader, it shows the underlying operational system that enabled massive crimes against civilians who were known not to be involved in the conflict.
"The judges have issued arrest warrants. As the territorial state, the Government of the Sudan has a legal duty to arrest Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb," the Prosecutor said. "This is the International Criminal Court's decision, and the Government has to respect it."
The Prosecutor presented his evidence on 27 February 2007. That filing and the Pre-Trial Chamber's decision is available at www.icc-cpi.int.
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