ICC: Commencement of Defense Arguments in the Trial of Former Janjaweed Leader Ali Kushayb

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The trial of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, known as Ali Kushayb, has entered a new phase at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004, the former Janjaweed militia leader has been on trial since April 2022. In the initial stage of the case, the prosecution called upon 56 witnesses, and now it’s the turn of the defense.

According to his attorney, the accused was merely a pharmacist in Garsila, Darfur, and not one of the Janjaweed leaders who were paramilitary forces aligned with the regime of Omar el-Béchir. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, as argued by Maître Cyril Laucci, was just an ordinary man.

“According to the prosecutor’s office, he was supposedly in charge of directing and commanding all operations. This Ali Kushayb is neither a government representative nor an officer in the armed forces. The prosecutor’s office has never claimed that he was a member of the Popular Defense Forces, Popular Police Forces, or Border Guards. Yet, this obscure figure is described by the prosecutor’s office as the mastermind.”

The attorney also criticized Sudan. Khartoum has refused visas to the lawyers and has not provided the requested documents, including the accused’s civil records. Me Cyril Laucci reproached the judges for not reporting Sudan’s non-cooperation to the United Nations Security Council, as mandated by the ICC’s statutes.

Soukaina Sghir

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