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Prosecutor Khan in Khartoum for talks with Sudan on ICC cooperation

August 10 - 2021 KHARTOUM
The Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC, is received by Head of Human Rights Department of Sudan’s Ministry of Justice, Dr O Mahmoud, upon landing in Khartoum (Picture: ICC)
The Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC, is received by Head of Human Rights Department of Sudan’s Ministry of Justice, Dr O Mahmoud, upon landing in Khartoum (Picture: ICC)

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC, has arrived with a delegation in Khartoum for a week-long visit to Sudan. During the visit, Khan and his delegation, which includes Senior Prosecutor, Julian Nichols, the Advisor to the Prosecutor General, Thomas Lynch, and Counsellor for International Cooperation at the Office of the Prosecution, Dahiro Sant Anna, which arrived in Khartoum on Monday evening, will discuss cooperation with the Sudanese government and other stakeholders.

This is Khan’s first visit to Sudan since he took office on June 16, and follows shortly after historic decisions by Sudan’s transitional government to hand Darfur war crimes accused to ICC, and to for Sudan to accede to and ratify the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The stated aim of Khan’s delegation is to hold discussions with the Sudanese government on ways to boost the cooperation on the ongoing investigation file related to Darfur. They will also meet with diplomats and representatives of civil society organisations.

ICC cooperation

In a ‘unanimous decision’ on July 24, Sudan’s Cabinet pledged to hand former officials indicted for war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Earlier this month, the Council of Ministers constituting Sudan’s Cabinet unanimously passed a draft law for Sudan to accede to and ratify the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Warrant of arrest

The ICC issued arrest warrants against former Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun, and Kushayb in 2007. Kushayb was transferred to the ICC’s custody on June 9, 2020 after surrendering himself voluntarily in the Central African Republic. Upon his arrest, the Sudanese government announced its support for his transfer to the ICC. Kushayb is also charged with a number of crimes by the Sudanese authorities.

In February 2020, Sudanese authorities also agreed that deposed dictator Omar Al Bashir and others indicted for war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court will be transferred to The Hague to face justice. Al Bashir was indicted by the ICC in 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and in 2010 for genocide. He has already been convicted of currency offences, and given a custodial sentence by a Khartoum court, but as he still faces charges in Sudan, he remains incarcerated in the notorious Kober prison in Khartoum North, where so many of his opponents were detained and tortured during the 30 years of his repressive regime.


*  On 12 February 2021, Karim A. A. Khan QC was elected as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the nineteenth session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute in New York. Mr. Khan will be sworn in on 16 June 2021.

Karim was an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and served as the first Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to promote accountability for crimes committed by Da'esh/ISIL in Iraq (UNITAD) between 2018 to 2021. UNITAD was established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017), to promote accountability efforts for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Da’esh/ISIL.

Karim is a barrister and Queen’s Counsel with more than 25 years of professional experience as an international criminal law and human rights lawyer.  He has extensive experience as a prosecutor, victim’s counsel and defence lawyer in domestic and international criminal tribunals, including, but not limited to, the International Criminal Court, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He has also represented victims of human rights violations in Africa and Asia. Karim is a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn and was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2018. He was elected as the second President of the ICC Bar Association in July 2017 and is a worldwide Ambassador of the African Bar Association. He has published a number of leading texts on international criminal law and is the co-author of ‘Archbold International Criminal Courts’, now in US 5th edition. 

The holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours from King’s College, University of London, in addition to various other degrees and qualifications. (Source: ICC)


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