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South Africa: Gov't to file last appeal against Bashir ruling

South Africa: Gov't to file last appeal against Bashir ruling

South Africa

South Africa’s government is to appeal a Supreme Court ruling last month that it erred in allowing Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir to leave the country.

The appeal, to be heard by the country’s Constitutional Court, will be the last chance for the government to overturn the ruling by the Supreme Court’s in March this year.

A statement from the South African Justice Ministry on Friday said: “Government has today filed for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court against the judgment delivered by Supreme Court.”

Government has today filed for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court against the judgment delivered by Supreme Court.

“We believe that the legal uncertainties … can be properly pronounced on by the Constitutional Court. Government therefore believes that there is a reasonable possibility that the Court will arrive at a different conclusion,” the statement further said.

The Supreme Court in its ruling, indicated that the South African government’s failure to arrest al-Bashir was inconsistent with the country’s obligations to the Rome statute, and described the action as ‘unlawful.’

But the government claimed that al-Bashir slipped out of the country without being noticed.

Omar al-Bashir was in South Africa last June for an African Union summit and was allowed to leave the country even though a court had issued an order banning him from leaving until the end of a hearing on whether he should be detained under a global arrest warrant.

The Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide.

But the South African government said all delegates who attended the summit were granted diplomatic immunity.

The Supreme Court’s ruling according to Reuters, means al-Bashir and others facing global arrest warrants for crimes against humanity would be arrested if they ever set foot in South Africa.