Posted by Mariana on 28 Oct 2012 | Comments
Nairobi, Kenya - Suspected Sudanese rebels, who were charged with killing and robbing Africa Union (AU) peacekeepers in Darfur, western Sudan, will face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) from November, ICC judges ordered Friday. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Jerbo Jamaus, who surrendered to the Court voluntarily after summons, sought the suspension of the trial on the grounds that a fair trial would not be guaranteed due to the conflict in Darfur.
The Chamber, composed of Presiding Judge Joyce Aluoch of Kenya, Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi of Argentina, and Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji of Nigeria, rejected the request by trial lawyers representing the rebel commanders for the suspension of the trial.
Making the ruling on 26 October, 2012, ICC rejected the “Request for a Temporary Stay of Proceedings,’ submitted by the Defence in January 2012 on the grounds that the accused could not receive a fair trial due to the lack of adequate facilities to obtain evidence.
The Darfur rebel commanders were accused of planning attacks which killed 12 Nigerian troops in Haskanita, left trail of destruction at the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) military base in Darfur.
Defence had requested the Chamber to stay temporarily the proceedings because it would be harder to secure witnesses to attend the trial at The Hague because of the fluid situation in Sudan.
The ICC said the Defence also claimed the need of access to important documents of regional and international governments and institution as another reason for a stay.
In their rejection, the judges said if need be, the defendant’s complaint would be kept in mind in the course of the trial.
“At trial, the Chamber, the parties and the participants will be in a position to better assess the evidence adduced to see whether the complaints about fair trial are founded,’ Judges indicated.
The Chamber also requested the parties and participants to file written submissions on the possible date for the commencement of the trial by 19 November, 2012. Judge Eboe-Osuji appended a concurring separate opinion.
ICC judges confirmed the war crimes charges against the two Darfur rebel commanders in March 2011.
The judges ruled there were substantial grounds to believe that Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo are criminally responsible as co-perpetrators for three war crimes.
They are charged with violence to life and attempted violence to life, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.
Source: Actualité Africa