South African Court Says Government Acted Unlawfully In Letting Sudan’s Bashir Go

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Al Bashir, who visited South Africa in June to attend the African Union summit, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity committed in his country.By failing to arrest Bashir in accordance with ICC, the South African government acted against its own laws as a member of the Rome Statute, the Supreme Court of Appeals said, according to JacarandaFM.The ICC had two outstanding arrest warrants for al-Bashir, issued in 2009 and 2010.The SA government last month appealed the High Court’s ruling that its adoption of the Rome Statute legally obligated it to arrest Al Bashir once he entered the country.”If we arrested al-Bashir we would not go anywhere in Africa”. State lawyers had argued that al-Bashir was guaranteed immunity from prosecution when he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg in June.The government had argued that it could not not arrest al-Bashir because he enjoyed immunity as a head of State. Despite this warning, the government allowed Al Bashir and his entourage to slip out of the country unceremoniously.He was at that point wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes.”We are thrilled with the SCA verdict as South Africa should not be treated as a safe haven for suspected perpetrators of egregious crimes” said Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, SALC’s executive director. “Therefore the application is dismissed”, SCA Judge Carole Lewis ruled on Monday, throwing out the government’s efforts to nullify the high court ruling against it.The ruling holds little punitive weight but will heap further woes on the government of Jacob Zuma, the president who is already suffering record-low opinion poll ratings over a corruption scandal and poor economic stewardship.The AU has accused the ICC of deliberately singling out African leaders as targets. “The South African government should seek to uphold the rule of law instead of shielding suspected war criminals and the SCA has made this clear today”. Google announces first Android N preview, includes multi-window
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