South African Judge suggests charging South African government over Bashir flight

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A SOUTH African judge asked prosecutors on Wednesday to consider charging the government over its decision to let Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir leave the country in defiance of legal orders from Pretoria and the International Criminal Court.

Bashir flew out of South Africa on June 15 as world powers and activists were urging the government to arrest him under a warrant from the global court on charges of masterminding genocide and other atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Bashir’s plane was allowed to take off even though a Pretoria court had issued an order banning him from leaving until the end of a hearing on his case.

“A democratic state based on the rule of law cannot exist or function if the government ignores its constitutional obligations and fails to abide by court orders,” High Court Judge Dustan Mlambo said in a televised statement in court.

“The departure of President Bashir from this country … demonstrates non-compliance with the court’s order,” he added.

“For this reason we also find it prudent to invite the National Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether criminal proceedings are appropriate.”

Bashir’s departure triggered a wave of criticism from Washington, other powers and rights campaigners who said it undermined the work of the Hague-based international court, set up to prosecute the most serious crimes when local courts fail.

South Africa’s government was due to issue an affidavit on Thursday explaining why it let Bashir go.

It had earlier said it had granted Bashir immunity to attend a summit in its territory. South Africa has also joined other African governments in accusing the court of anti-African bias.

All the court’s cases have so far only targeted African states and it has convicted just two minor African warlords since it started work in 2002.

Mlambo ended up ruling that South Africa should have carried out the global arrest warrant on June 15. But by the time he issued his decision, Bashir was already on his way back to Khartoum.

On Wednesday, Mlambo said South Africa had been wrong to offer Bashir immunity from prosecution – as a signed up member of the International Criminal Court, South Africa is bound to carry out its warrants.

Bashir has regularly dismissed the charges that he orchestrated crimes against humanity as he tried to crush an uprising in the western Darfur region.

The warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, have restricted his travel, though he has made several trips to other countries in Africa and the Middle East. source-newzimbabwe

Rwanda’s Intelligence Chief arrested at Heathrow under European Arrest Warrant.

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Rwanda’s  Director General of National Intelligence and National Security , who also, previously served as the deputy Commander of the African Union Peace Keeping force in Darfur, was arrested at Heathrow Airport  in London on   Saturday under a European Arrest Warrant.

The 54-year-old General Karenzi Karake, is an official, wanted on war crimes charges, who is also a member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), appeared  before London’s West Minster Magistrates Court where  he  was remanded in custody until Thursday 25 June 2015.

When General Karenzi Karake was the head of  Rwanda’s military intelligence Service, he allegedly  ordered  the massacres soon after the horrendous  1994 Rwanda genocide,  which claimed the lives of  800,000 lives.

He is accused of organising a series of retaliatory massacres against the majority Hutu and  sanctioning the murder of three Spanish nationals who were employed by Medicos del Mundo and allegedly knew too much about the retaliatory massacres and those behind them.  Andreu Merelles, a Spanish investigative judge, named General Karenzi Karake and 39 other Rwandan commanders, totalling 40 commanders  in an indictment issued in 2008 .

Whilst Rwanda’s ambassador in London William Nkurunziza, claimed that the charges in place against General Karenzi Karake are “politically motivated”,  the British High Commission in Rwanda argued that General Karenzi Karake’s   arrest is a “legal obligation” executed  at the request of the Spanish authorities, adding that the United Kingdom, holds a most valued  close working relation with  the Rwandan government on a wide range of regional and international issues.

It is still not clear why the General Karenzi Karake, was picked up by authorities on this particular trip, even though he successfully, previously  travelled to the United Kingdom on numerous occasions, without any hindrance since the Spanish issued the indictment, and his highly politicised  arrest has been touted by others as the symbolic equivalent of the head of the United Kingdom’s MI6 or the United State’s CIA being arrested by another nation.

Rwandan authorities are not impressed by London’s enforcement of the warrant against General Karenzi Karake. Sibusiso Ngwenya.

photo-Emmanuel Karenzi Karake. © Monuc/AFP