Govt seeks extension to respond to ICC’s al-Bashir request

Citing complex and conflicting legal principles as reason for missing October 5 deadline.
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir

South Africa has asked the International Criminal Court for more time to respond to the court’s request to explain why the government didn’t arrest Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir when he attended a summit in the country.

The matter is still being addressed in local courts and there are complex and conflicting legal principles involved, South Africa’s department for international relations said in an e-mailed statement. The ICC, based in The Hague, had asked the government for a response by October 5.

Al-Bashir, 71, was indicted by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes and genocide for his role in atrocities in Sudan’s western Darfur region, where insurgents took up arms in 2003. He left South Africa after attending an African Union summit in June, despite a domestic court ruling that he be barred from leaving.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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