December 19, 2020
File – Mr. Abd-Al-Rahman at his first ICC appearance on June 15th, 2020. Photo Courtesy of The ICC.
By Sudan Tribune
KHARTOUM – The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday postponed the confirmation hearing of Ali Kushayb to next May.
On 17 September, the prosecutor requested the Pre-Trial Chambre to postpone the date of the confirmation of charges hearing from 7 December 2020 to 1 June 2021.
However, the court decided to extend it only to 22 February 2021 triggering a second request by the prosecutor.
“The Chamber partially granted the postponement request and set the date of the confirmation hearing to commence on 24 May 2021,” said the court in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday.
“The Chamber also set a number of new procedural deadlines for the disclosure of evidence by the Prosecutor and the Document Containing the Charges,” further added the statement.
Due to the lack of cooperation by the former regime, the court was not able to prosecute the case properly or carry out additional investigations, and re-contact witnesses.
Fatou Bensouda was in Khartoum last October where the Sudanese government agreed to cooperate with the war crimes court.
However, Bensouda urged the Security Council a week ago to impress Khartoum to cooperate with the court and allow the ICC investigators to investigate in Darfur without delay.
The prosecutor fears that Ali Kushayb would not be released and his case cancelled if they do not provide evidence and have witnesses proving his involvement in crimes committed in the western Sudan region during the counterinsurgency campaign.
Kushayb surrendered himself to the ICC in June 2020 in the neighbouring Central African Republic. He left Darfur after the collapse of the al-Bashir regime.
However, he denied the charges against and stressed they were untrue.
“Yes, I was informed of that but this is untrue,” Abd-Al-Rahman said. “They made me come here, following this, and I hope that I will face justice,” he said when the judge asked him if he was aware of the charges directed against him.