Home | News    Monday 10 November 2008

Sudan hires UK law firm to handle ICC indictment of Bashir


November 9, 2008 (PARIS) – The Sudanese government hired a British law firm to represent it in its confrontation with the International Criminal Court (ICC), multiple sources tell Sudan Tribune.

Judges of the International Criminal Court Akua Kuenyehia, president Claude Jorda and Sylvia Steiner, top left to right, are seen at the start of a hearing in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006 (AP)

The sources which requested anonymity said that the firm’s name is Eversheds LLP which specializes in international law.

Repeated attempts to get comment from Eversheds were unsuccessful.

In 2005 Sudanese officials said that Khartoum contemplated using a western law firm to counter the ICC but that after reviewing options it was “too expensive”.

In mid-July the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced that he is seeking an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir.

The ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. In early October ICC judges have officially started reviewing the case in a process that could possibly drag on to next year.

After failing to secure a suspension of the ICC move Sudanese officials said they would deal with the ICC ’indirectly’ through a third country that is a member of the ICC or a law firm.

Sudan insists that it is not bound by the ICC since it is not a member of the court.

However there is little the law firm can do without the war crimes suspects appearing before court. The ICC rule does allow trials in absentia.

The Sudanese president is not officially charged yet as the judges are reviewing the evidence and at this stage defense lawyers are not allowed to file motions to interrupt this process.

To issue an arrest warrant on the charges filed by the prosecutor the ICC judges have to be convinced that there are ‘reasonable grounds’ that the individual(s) committed the crimes listed in the filing.

Once the individual(s) are in custody a confirmation of charges hearing is held before a trial is commenced and defense lawyers are allowed to challenge the evidence. The judges could confirm or decline the charges for which an arrest warrant was issued.

Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statute, but the UN Security Council (UNSC) triggered the provisions under the Statute that enables it to refer situations in non-State parties to the world court if it deems that it is a threat to international peace and security.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 10 November 2008 06:52, by Ajang Aguer Pageer

    It was too expensive to hire foreign lawyers to deal with the ICC cases,what has made it cheaper for reconsideration?(Because Albashir ,who controls oxygen and life-giving-water has been indicted!!).

    This act reveals the inhuman ways NCP has been mishandling the affairs of the nation to benefit the few criminals that have been depriving Sudanese societies of happiness and their resources for decades.Does it mean that the life of Al Bashir is more precious than the lives of other people who were charged before him? or the victims(millions by the way) of his ruthless and mischievous actions.I hope money will not drive those consulted firms to try to save him in any way because, the Hague is the only place on the planet that is suitable for him ,to say the safest place if not hell.

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    • 22 November 2012 19:14, by hanskhands

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  • 10 November 2008 07:06, by YihHon Alewei

    What a blunder?

    If this article is true! What a slip-up for the Sudanese government to use public money to defend an individual who has no pitty on his own people! It is a very gaffe thing to do! There are people starving in the Sudan while resources money is use inappropriately.

    I completely disagree with this hiring of a foreign country law firm to defend bashir! Bashir has his own lawyers! If bashir knew that there are consequences ahead, he would have not committed those crimes!

    mr.bashir should and have to face the music of his actions! It will be stupid if the UK law firm accept that offer to defend mr bashir for his own devil actions against the very people who are suppose to be protected. The matter is now with the ICC, no compromise if code of humanity is broken.

    SPLM is an opposition party, they have a say in this if it is true. South Sudan is the "basket cake" of the Sudan. The already depleted resources have not to be misuse while the part of the country is suffering!

    No way out for bashir! He must stand trial for his evil deeds that he had done to South Sudanese for the last decade, Eastern Sudanese and now Darfur!
    Even though ICC fail to indict bashir, his indictment will happen somewhere else! Who knows what the future holds!

    Could God bless people of Darfur! Hope for the best, justice is nearly to be served!

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  • 10 November 2008 08:35, by Mr Network

    What hell?

    Money is being using for an evil accessing business which would have boost the economy of poor Sudan.....such that the way forward to lobby other country is useless if the goodwill of your behavoir justifying you.Being a good governce lead is what you access from good did but not from your charaters,hope things are unpredictable for you dear!

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  • 10 November 2008 17:20, by Justin Chicago opiny

    It is very unfortunate that we only come to terms when we are found guity.I have always said and continue to say that the lose of one sudanese is a lose and should be treated that way.

    How many sudanese thrown from the plane
    to meet their death, how many sudanese died of hunger, how many sudanese were killed in various so many "Whte Houses" who perished witout identication to this day as I write. We know it is a crime when one citizen kills another citizen, we know it is a crime when a soldier kills a a civilian for no good reason just because he/she carries a gun, we know it is a crime when a politician uses his /her position to kill at a will, we know we can change the situation,Why not and why cann,t we do it now instead of hiring lawyers from other countries,bringing in UN FORCES to solve our problems.

    How many of our politicians did not go to school that they should make a silly mistake to make their name go into history for killing. The war in South Sudan took the life of more than 2 million and displaced over 4 million from 1955-2005 and the current war in Darfur is still continuing to kill and displace and replace with Arab tribes from neighbouring countries simply becuase of their skin color.

    Skin color should not be a defect in deciding who should be who and what.We as sudanese should live in a " color blind world and a religion free" country. How many of us are related to Jesus Christ and Mohamed and one of them came back and told us that I am greater than other prophet?.

    we have to learn from our mistakes and come to terms with our mistakes. we do not need to depend on foreigh people and organisation to solve our internal problems. If we can not solve our internal problems , it is of no use atarting it in the first place. Being a police Officer, Military commander,Judge requires that you have to be vigilant and use your position as the law deem it necessary and don,t take the law in your own hand as the law will turn around against you. Do not forget there is no body who is above the law.

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  • 11 November 2008 02:52, by Mony-Jang

    Hiring a law firm is of no use to Bashir. Justice always prevail.

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    • 11 November 2008 03:23, by manyok R

      That law firm is an old British imperial dealer which is after their interest behind the criminal President Albashir. British plus greedy China are trying hard to free Criminal Albashir so that they will continue loot of Sudanese resources through heartless human being. But the world is watching this time around.

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      • 11 November 2008 06:48, by Maruon Ayiei

        What is going on in the UK? Are they know-nothingism in representing Al Bashire against the indictment from ICC. Maybe London is not seeing the atrocities committed in Darfur or they don’t care who is being slain. Gordon Brown government needs to suspend that law firm licence because they are part of unjust World. London can do better in this century.

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  • 11 November 2008 10:51, by kuur Deng

    Hello guys,this is not because Albeshir is an enemy of south Sudan a lone but the entirely sudan.I don’t think that he can escape justice even if their God alaah or Mohammad come down he will not add any single word of defense in front of the ICC.And let me tell you one thing, he had killed more than three million in Sudan as whole country.You imagine a single human being can killed a multitude of persons without rule of law that can act against him.I think this is the right time for him to be persecuted so let us hope that he will join his friend sud dam in the grave yard.
    Thanks for all your commentary against him.

    View online : Who is above the law

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