The International Criminal Court has decided not to refer South Africa to the UN Security Council over the Omar al-Bashir matter.
The ICC earlier ruled that Pretoria had violated its obligations as a member of the body by failing to arrest the Sudanese President when he visited in 2015.
The judges were in their right to refer South Africa to the UN or severely sanction the country, but said South African courts had already censured the government for its failure to detain al-Bashir, while he was in the country two years ago.
The verdict is ongoing. The Executive Director at the South African Litigation Centre, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, earlier predicted that the court would rule against South Africa.
Al-Bashir is wanted for alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur. Keogh explain: “We fully expect the pre-trial chamber of the ICC to find that SA did not comply with the request for cooperation. I don’t think that there are much facts or arguments made before the pre-trial chamber which sustains another finding. The only thing which is uncertain at this point is whether or not the ICC will refer SA and the referral mechanism is actually the only enforcement mechanism available to the pre-trial chamber. This referral could be either to the assembly of state parties to their own statute or to the UN Security Council.”
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