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South Africa Court Says State Broke Law Over Al-Bashir Departure

  • Sudanese leader visited South Africa for African Union summit
  • Government's failure to detain al-Bashir was unlawful: court

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling that the government broke the law when it defied an order to prevent Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir from leaving the country pending a decision on whether he should be arrested under an International Criminal Court warrant.

The government’s failure to take steps to arrest and detain al-Bashir so he could be surrendered to the ICC was inconsistent with its obligations and unlawful, the appeals court said Tuesday in a judgment delivered in the central city of Bloemfontein. State lawyers had argued that al-Bashir was guaranteed immunity from prosecution when he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg in June.