August 12, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) signed a fresh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sudanese government for better cooperation on Darfur cases, announced Persecutor Karim Khan on Thursday.
Last February, Sudan and the ICC signed an MoU for cooperation on the trial of the former militia leader Ali Kushayb who is under surrendered him to The Hague court last year as the prosecution was in need to have more evidence to confirm his case.
The new prosecutor who prepares to deal with the cases of the former Sudanese officials indicted by the court besides Kushayb requested the transitional government to sign a new agreement to expand bilateral cooperation to all the others.
“I have requested the Transitional Government to sign, during this visit, a new Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with my Office that includes all individuals against whom warrants of arrest have been issued by the ICC. I am pleased to report that the MoU has been signed today,” Khan wrote in a press statement he issued on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in Khartoum, he said he signed the MoU with the Attorney General Mubarak Mahmoud and Justice Minister Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari to come to the press conference.
He underlined that such agreement is crucial for his office because the transfer of suspects is not enough alone they also need to build strong substantive evidence about the charges they face.
“We have to prove cases beyond a reasonable doubt,” he stressed.
The former ICC Prosecutor had requested Sudan to hand over the former state minister for interior Ahmed Haroun who is accused of the same war crimes as Ali Kushayb.
Next week, Sudan is expected to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in a joint meeting of the cabinet and the Sovereign Council to be the 124th country to join the war crimes court.
Khan further told reporters that requested to have an office in Khartoum where a team of his office can be deployed and work from Sudan to investigate the cases and get the evidence they need.
In the same vein, he announced he would be back next November to visit the Darfur region to meet the victims and displaced people who were subjected to atrocities and crimes by the previous regime.
Alluding to what the foreign minister disclosed about al-Bashir possible handover to the ICC, Khan said he had been told that various matters are scheduled to be discussed in the joint meeting including the signing and ratification of the Rome Statute.
“Also, there will be other matters t be discussed, so we wait and see,” he said.
However, referring to al-Bashir’s handover he was keen to recall the principle of complementarity and emphasized indicate during the press conference that the state has the primary responsibility to prosecute crime and try the responsible.