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ICC prosecutors appeal decision not to charge Sudan president with genocide

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Tuesday appealed [text, PDF] the court's decision [JURIST report] not to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] with genocide. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said that the evidentiary standards imposed by the Pre-Trial Chamber [official website] in advance of their March indictment was an improper interpretation of Article 58 of the Rome Statute [texts]. Moreno-Ocampo urged the Appeals Chamber [official website] either to order the Pre-Trial Chamber to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on genocide charges under Article 6 [text], or to remand the case with instructions on the proper standard for determining whether "reasonable grounds" exist.

In March, the Pre-Trial Chamber issued an arrest warrant [text, PDF] for al-Bashir, charging him with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The warrant has been controversial [JURIST news archive], with Egypt, Sudan, the African Union [JURIST reports] and others calling for the proceedings against al-Bashir to be delayed, and African Union leaders agreeing [JURIST report] last week not to cooperate with the ruling. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has previously urged al-Bashir to comply [JURIST report] with any ICC decision, but al-Bashir has said that that he and his government will disregard [Al Jazeera report] the ICC's ruling. Al-Bashir is accused of systematically targeting and purging the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa, three Arabic-speaking ethnic groups, under the pretext of counterinsurgency since 2003.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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