South Africa Government Denies Meeting to Plan Al-Bashir Escape

South Africa denied that some ministers met to plan the safe passage of Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide, out of the country last week.

“Government categorically denies that there was a secret meeting held by the security cluster ministers including minister in the presidency and the director-general of the presidency,” it said in an e-mailed statement Monday.

Al-Bashir, who was attending an African Union meeting in Johannesburg, left from a military airport on June 15 as the High Court in Pretoria considered an application to arrest him. The Hauge-based ICC, created in 2002 to hunt down perpetrators of crimes against humanity, indicted al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for his role in atrocities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

All eight of the investigations the ICC has opened so far have involved African nations, drawing criticism of unfair treatment.