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Thursday, 08/12/2010

Al Basher case: The Appeals Chamber directs Pre-Trial Chamber I to decide anew on the genocide charge

Press Release: 03.02.2010
ICC-CPI-20100203-PR494 عربي
Case: The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir
Situation: Darfur, Sudan
Today, 3 February, 2010, the Appeals Chamber rendered its judgment on the Prosecutor’s appeal,

reversing, by unanimous decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision

of 4 March, 2009, to the extent that Pre-Trial Chamber I decided not to issue

a warrant of arrest in respect of the charge of genocide. The Appeals Chamber directed

the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide anew whether or not the arrest warrant should

be extended to cover the charge of genocide.

Judge Kourula, presiding judge on this appeal, delivered a summary of the judgment.

The Appeals Chamber explained that it was not concerned with the question of whether

Mr Omar Al Bashir is, or is not, responsible for the crime of genocide.

Rather, the Appeals Chamber addressed a question of procedural law,

namely whether the Pre-Trial Chamber applied the correct standard

of proof when disposing of the Prosecutor’s application for an arrest warrant.
In its 4 March, 2009, decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the Prosecutor’s

application in respect of genocide stating that it would issue an arrest

warrant for genocide only if the only reasonable conclusion to be

drawn from the Prosecutor’s evidence, based on “proof by inference”,

was that there were reasonable grounds to believe in the existence

of genocidal intent. The Appeals Chamber found that demanding that the

existence of genocidal intent must be the only reasonable conclusion

amounts to requiring the Prosecutor to disprove any other reasonable

conclusions and to eliminate any reasonable doubt. The Appeals

Chamber found this standard of proof to be too demanding at

the arrest warrant stage, which is governed by article 58 of the Rome Statute.

This amounted to an error of law.
Although the Appeals Chamber reversed the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision,

the Appeals Chamber rejected the Prosecutor’s request to make a finding

that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Al Bashir acted with

genocidal intent, as this is a matter to be determined in a new decision by the

Pre-Trial Chamber, using the correct standard of proof.

Background information
Pre-Trial Chamber I issued, on 4 March, 2009, the “Decision on the Prosecution’s

Application for a Warrant of Arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir”.

In its decision, the Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest against

Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes,

but rejected the Prosecutor’s application in respect of the crime of genocide.
On 6 July, 2009, the Prosecutor filed an appeal against this decision.

The Appeals Chamber granted the Sudan Workers Trade Unions Federation and

the Sudan International Defence Group leave to make submissions as amicus curiae.

Eight victims were also authorised to present submissions to the Appeals Chamber.
The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by the

United Nations Security Council’s resolution 1593, on 31 March, 2005.

In this situation, three cases are being heard: The Prosecutor v.

Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”) and

Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”);

The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir; and

The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.
The International Criminal Court is the only permanent

international court established with the mission to help put an

end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes

of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime

of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and thus to contribute

to the prevention of such crimes.

For further information please contact Ms Sonia Robla, Head of Public

Information and Documentation Section, at                           

  +31 (0)70 515-8089              +31 (0)70 515-8089             

  +31 (0)70 515-8089              +31 (0)70 515-8089                     

        +31 (0)70 515-8089              +31 (0)70 515-8089            

   +31 (0)70 515-8089              +31 (0)70 515-8089       or      

                       +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26      

        +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26               +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26      

        +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26                             +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26  

            +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26               +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26       

       +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26       or at sonia.robla@icc-cpi.int

















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