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Wanted Sudan leader Bashir avoids South Africa arrest

June 15, 2015 8:15 pm

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has returned to Khartoum from South Africa, avoiding arrest over war crimes charges on an international warrant

Mr Bashir flew out of South Africa despite an order barring him from leaving while a Pretoria court decided whether to arrest him on charges issued by the International Criminal Court.

Mr Bashir was visiting Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.
An ICC official said the failure to arrest Mr Bashir was disappointing and they remain quietly optimistic and determined to see justice done in this case deputy prosecutor James Stewart told the BBC.

The Pretoria High Court issued an order for Mr Bashir’s arrest hours after his aircraft left the country.

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A South African judge, Dunstan Mlambo, meanwhile said the failure to arrest Mr Bashir had violated the country’s constitution.

An aircraft said to be carrying Mr Bashir takes off from an air base near Pretoria.

However, Sudan described the attempt to arrest Mr Bashir as “lame and meaningless”.

Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters at Khartoum airport that the court order was an attack on Sudanese sovereignty.

Mr Bashir arrived at the airport on Monday evening, dressed in white robes and waving a cane. He was greeted by cheering supporters.

The Sudanese leader is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

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