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The ICC's investigation into the situation in Darfur, Sudan was officially opened by the ICC prosecutor on 6 June 2005 after being referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 31 March 2005. The situation was assigned to ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC I). There are four ongoing cases, with five public arrest warrants having been issued against Ahmad Harun, Ali Kushayb, Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein and Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. None of the arrest warrants have been executed and the Sudanese government has consistently refused to cooperate with the Court and the international community. However three other suspects have voluntarily responded to summons to appear before the Court.
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The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun ("Ahmad Harun") and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman ("Ali Kushayb")
On 2 May 2007, PTC I issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Muhammad Harun—the Sudanese minister for humanitarian affairs—and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004. Neither suspect has been arrested.
The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir
On 4 March 2009, PTC I issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir—the first ever issued for a sitting head of state by the ICC—for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur in the preceding five years. On 3 February 2010, the ICC Appeals Chamber unanimously reversed PTC I's decision not to include the crime of genocide in the arrest warrant against al-Bashir. PTC I was directed to decide anew whether a warrant of arrest should be extended to cover the crime of genocide based on the correct standard of proof. On 12 July 2010, PTC I issued a second arrest warrant for al-Bashir for three counts of genocide allegedly committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups—the first ICC arrest warrant issued for the crime of genocide. Al-Bashir has not yet been arrested.
The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda
On 17 May 2009, PTC I announced it had issued a summons to appear for rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda for war crimes allegedly committed during attacks against African Union peacekeepers at the Haskanita military base in Darfur in September 2007. It was the first time ICC judges issued a summons to appear instead of an arrest warrant, considering the summons a sufficient measure to ensure that the suspect would appear before the Court. Abu Garda appeared before the ICC on 18 May 2009. From 19-29 October 2009, PTC I held a public hearing to examine the available evidence against Abu Garda. On 8 February 2010, the Chamber declined to confirm the charges against Abu Garda, hence refusing to move his case forward to trial. Although insisting that the case was of sufficient gravity, the Chamber established that it lacked evidence that Abu Garda participated in the common plan to attack the Haskanita base. The prosecution’s request to appeal the decision was rejected by PTC I on 23 April 2010.
The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus
On 17 August 2009, PTC I announced that had issued summons to appear for Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleg Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo). Banda and Jerbo are charged with three counts of war crimes allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September 2007, against the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), a peace-keeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site (MGS Haskanita) in the locality of Umm Kadada, North Darfur. On 16 June 2010, the ICC announced the arrival of Banda and Jerbo at The Hague. The confirmation of charges hearing in the case was held on 8 December 2010 in the absence of the two suspects who had waived their right to be present. 89 victims participated in the confirmation hearing through their legal representatives. On 7 March 2011, PTC I confirmed the charges of war crimes against Banda and Jerbo, sending their case to trial. On 26 October 2011, TC IV rejected a defense request for a temporary stay of proceedings.
On 18 July 2013, following the reported death of Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus in Darfur, a status conference was held to consider terminating the ICC proceedings against him, or to sever the case from co-accused Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain. A decision is pending.
On 4 October 2013, TC IV ended the proceedings against Jerbo. Despite the absence of an official death certificate, judges decided that the evidence indicates that Jerbo was killed in a rebel attack in North Darfur in April 2013.
The opening of the Banda trial originally scheduled for 5 May 2014 was postponed due to logistical difficulties.
New start date is 18 November 2014.
The Prosecutor v. Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein
On 1 March 2012, following a request by the ICC prosecutor on 2 December 2011, PTC I issued an arrest warrant for Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, Sudan's defense minister and former special representative for Darfur, holding that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Hussein bears criminal responsibility for 41 counts crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004. On 1 February 2012, the prosecutor had submitted additional material in support of his application for an arrest warrant in response to a request from the Chamber.
Hussein is Sudan's current defense minister, and former interior minister and the Darfur special representative of the Sudanese president at the time of the alleged crimes, which are the same as those presented in previous warrants of arrest for Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb issued by the Court on 27 April 2007. According to the Office of the Prosecutor, Hussein is among those who bear the greatest criminal responsibility for those crimes.
Opening of the investigation
On 31 March 2005, the situation in Darfur, Sudan was referred to the ICC prosecutor by UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005), “determining that the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security.” The ICC prosecutor subsequently received the document archives of the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, as well as a sealed list of individuals named by the Commission as suspects of grave international crimes in Darfur. Following careful examination of thousands of documents from a variety of sources and interviews with over 50 independent experts, the prosecutor officially opened his investigation into the situation in Darfur on 6 June 2005. As required under Resolution 1593, the prosecutor has been reporting to the UNSC every six months on the progress of his investigation.
The situation of Darfur was previously assigned to PTC I, composed of Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner, Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, and Judge Cuno Tarfusser. It is currently assigned to PTC II, composed of Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, and Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova.
Defense notifies Court of Jerbo death
On 23 April, the defense for Jerbo notified the Court of his death in North Darfur, allegedly during an attack by a faction of the Justice and Equality Movement. He was due to stand trial for an attack on peacekeepers in May 2014.
For additional information and to view the Court's latest decisions, visit the ICC website
16 Jan 2012
23 Sept 2011
26 July 2011
15 June 2011
11 May 2011