Court crit­i­cizes missed ar­rest

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — The In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court said Thurs­day that South Africa should have ar­rested Su­danese Pres­i­dent Omar alBashir, wanted by the court on war-crimes charges, when he vis­ited the coun­try in 2015.

How­ever, in a show of le­niency, the court at The Hague, Nether­lands, said it would not re­fer South Africa’s fail­ure to com­ply with its obli­ga­tions to the court’s gov­ern­ing body or the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Council. It based that de­ci­sion partly on South Africa’s ef­fort to co­op­er­ate by seek­ing a rul­ing in the case.

South Africa and other sig­na­tory coun­tries have a le­gal obli­ga­tion to ar­rest any­one sought by the in­ter­na­tional court un­der the Rome Statute, the court’s found­ing treaty. Lawyers for South Africa had ar­gued that the treaty does not ob­li­gate au­thor­i­ties to ar­rest heads of state of coun­tries who are not mem­bers of the court, such as Su­dan.

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