Judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague say South Africa broke international law by not arresting indicted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir when he attended an African Union summit 2 years ago.
The ICC did not agree that South Africa was able to grant al-Bashir diplomatic immunity.
“The chamber concludes that by not arresting Omar al-Bashir while he was on its territory… South Africa failed to comply with the court’s request for the arrest and surrender” of the Sudanese leader, said presiding judge Cuno Tarfusser.
This was “contrary” to the provisions of the court’s guiding Rome Statute and prevented it from seeking to prosecute President Bashir on 10 charges of war crimes, including three of genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
Despite two international arrest warrants issued in 2009 and 2010, President Bashir remains at large and in office as conflict continues to rage in Darfur.
In June 2015, he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg, and despite earlier consultations between ICC and South African officials then flew out of the country again unhindered.
Our Europe correspondent Jack Parrock reports.