Sudan: Govt Starts Probe in Darfur War Crimes, Files Cases Against Bashir, Goush and Others

Photo: Dabanga
he protest that displaced people of Khamsa Degaig staged in Zalingei, Central Darfur, on May 21 - the day that RSF forces shot and killed a displaced woman (RD)
2 December 2019

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudan's Attorney General Taj Alsir Alhibir has announced that his office has embarked on investigations in the gruesome war crimes in Darfur in which ousted President Omar Albashir and several other government and security officials are accused by the International Criminal Court(ICC).

Attorney Hibir said a criminal case was filed against Bashir and others for crimes against humanity committed in that Western Region since 2003.

"We have embarked on investigation procedures in the crimes committed in Darfur since 2003 in which Bashir and other officials of his regime are accused," Attorney Hibir told a press conference on Sunday at Khartoum airport, back from a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

"The Attorney General Office has filed a criminal case against Bashir, his former Minister of Defense Abdelrahim Mohammad Hussein, tribal leader Ali Koshaib, former Governor of Kordofan State Ahmed Haroun," said Attorney Alhibir.

The four men are part of a list of 51 government and security operatives the ICC said committed war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur at the heat of the civil war in that Western region in 2003 and after.

Warrants for Bashir's arrest were issued by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 for these charges but he has not been extradited to The Hague, the seat of the ICC.

Hibir said his investigation panel, beside its independent investigations, would also consult the report of a former national investigation panel that raised the accusing finger at leaders of security bodies in the region for law breaking.

The panel Attorney Hibir has referred to was chaired by prominent Barrister Dafalla Alhaj Yousif that reportedly advised Bashir to try security officials it found indictable in the Darfur atrocities. But Bashir had arrogantly turned a deaf ear to that advice and advices from other Sudanese politicians (including former Premier Sadig Almahdi) and remained defiant to the international justice.

Meantime, Attorney Alhibir also announced to have embarked "on legal procedures to extradite (by the Interpol) the ex-chief of the State Security Sallah Abdalla for trial inside the country.

Hibir said Abdalla (commonly known by the nickname Salah Goush), is facing four criminal charges, which he, Hibir, did not specify.

Hibir also said all the leading figures of the defunct regime now kept in the notorious Kober Prison face criminal charges punishable by death sentences.

"It is impossible to release who commit such crimes on bail," he said, apparently referring to petitions raised by attorneys of those suspects to release them on bail.

Attorney Alhibir also said his office has embarked on measures to retrieve stolen money kept outside the country. "We began to address concerned entities in the countries where those funds were stashed for action," he said, but added that "this is a complicated matter."

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