A prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo has said he has evidence that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir stole billions of dollars from his impoverished country.
But he went on to say that his prosecution is focused on Al Bashir’s alleged orchestration of genocide in Darfur and not suspected embezzlement. “The most urgent reason to arrest Mr Bashir is not because he could have billions in his secret accounts but because he is still controlling an ongoing genocide in Darfur,” Moreno Ocampo said.
The court issued arrest warrants for Al Bashir in July on three charges of genocide for allegedly masterminding atrocities in his country’s Darfur region. He also was charged last year with crimes against humanity in the war-torn region.
But Al Bashir, who was re-elected to a new five-year term earlier this year, refuses to recognise the court’s authority and has insisted he will not turn himself in to stand trial.
The United Nations estimates 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have been forced from their homes in Darfur since ethnic African rebels rose up in 2003, accusing Sudan’s Arab-dominated central government of neglect and discrimination.