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New government to decide on Omar al-Bashir’s extradition to ICC, says military council

Sudanese ex-President became the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC

CAIRO, April 16. /TASS/. The next government will decide whether to extradite Sudanese ex-President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Al Arabiya TV channel reports quoting the statement issued by the Sudanese transitional military council on Tuesday.

"The decision on the Omar al-Bashir’s extradition to the ICC will be a prerogative of the future government," the communique reads.

On April 11, a military coup was staged in Sudan, the military deposed President Omar al-Bashir who ruled the country for almost 30 years. On April 12, head of the political committee of the country’s military council General Omar Zein Al-Abidin told a press conference in Khartoum that the military authorities were not going to extradite the former President for trial in The Hague. "Omar al-Bashir is in our custody," he said. "Our council rules and brings people to justice, but it will not extradite al-Bashir for trial at the ICC." According to the General, "neither al-Bashir, nor anyone else will be extradited to foreign organizations." He indicated that the ex-President will be prosecuted in Sudan. He also said that all those responsible for the deaths of civilians in the course of the protests that lasted for many months "would be brought before court and would not escape justice."

In March 2009, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a warrant for Omar al-Bashir’s arrest, He is accused of giving out personal orders to suppress riots in the Darfur Region and exterminating civilians from Masalit and Zaghawa tribes. Five out of seven indictment counts relate to the crimes against humanity, while the remaining two counts pertain to war crimes.

Omar al-Bashir became the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC. As a result, the President, who was deposed on April 11, until the very last days in power only visited those countries that promised to not extradite him to The Hague.