ICC chamber ordered to rule again on genocide charge against Sudanese leader

The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today was ordered to reconsider adding the charge of genocide to the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued last year.Mr. al-Bashir became the first sitting head of State to be indicted by the Court, which charged him with two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity last March.But the chamber at that time rejected Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s application to charge the Sudanese leader with genocide, ruling that there was insufficient evidence. The ICC’s appeals chamber today found the standard of proof set by the pre-trial chamber to be too demanding at the arrest warrant stage, amounting to an “error of law,” according to a news release issued by the court, which is based in The Hague. The pre-trial chamber has been directed to decide anew whether or not Mr. al-Bashir should be charged with genocide.The United Nations estimates that an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003 in Darfur, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen. In December, the ICC Prosecutor told the Security Council that indiscriminate bombings, rape and other crimes are continuing in Darfur, with the Government of Sudan still refusing to cooperate with his office and its indicted President and other suspects remaining at large.Soon after the arrest warrant for Mr. al-Bashir was issued, authorities expelled 13 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and revoked the permits of three local groups, dealing a blow to humanitarian efforts in the region.“The decisions to expel humanitarian workers and silence others by threats of expulsion, or the attempts at restricting the freedom of movement of UNAMID [joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur] are part and parcel of this policy to reduce the monitoring capacity of the international community,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said. 3 February 2010The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today was ordered to reconsider adding the charge of genocide to the arrest warrant for Sudanese President President Omar al-Bashir issued last year. read more

Relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka noted as being multifaceted

He expressed the hope that the Association will continue its positive role in fostering friendship between citizens of the two countries. He assured that the High Commission of Pakistan would continue to patronize and support the Association for future endeavours. (Colombo Gazette) The Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association is one of the oldest Association of Sri Lanka which was established in 1950. Relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka are warm and multifaceted, the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo said today.A delegation of Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association met the High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat at the High Commission premises today. The Association has established itself as a useful platform, dedicated to the promotion of relationship of friendship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. President of the Association Ifthikhar Aziz, briefed the High Commissioner about history and activities of the Association including various social welfare and cultural activities under the purview of the Association.The High Commissioner lauded the role of the Association. He underscored that the Association has played an important role in bringing the people of both countries together through various activities and exchanges, thus contributing significantly towards the warm and multifaceted relations Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy today, especially generous donation of Corneas to Pakistan. read more