Intl court orders 2 Darfur rebels tried for attack

AP News
Posted: Mar 08, 2011 1:28 PM
Intl court orders 2 Darfur rebels tried for attack

International Criminal Court judges on announced on Tuesday that two Darfur rebels will stand trial on charges of taking part in a 2007 attack that left 12 peacekeepers dead in Sudan.

Judges say there are "substantial grounds to believe" that Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus "are criminally responsible as co-perpetrators." The two allegedly committed the crimes during an attack against an African Union camp in Haskanita, Sudan.

The decision says they will face trial on three charges _ violence to life, attacking peacekeepers and pillaging. No date has been set for their trial to begin.

The rebels surrendered to the court last year and have returned to Darfur to await their trial.

At a hearing in December, the men's lawyer, Karim Khan, said he agreed the evidence was strong enough to warrant a trial.

But he added that there were "many misconceptions and errors and fallacies that infect the prosecution theory of the case."

Another Darfur rebel, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, surrendered to the court in 2009 on charges linked to the Haskanita attack but judges last year threw out all charges against him.

The court also has indicted three suspects, including Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, with crimes including genocide for attacks on the civilian population of Darfur. Al Bashir refuses to recognize the court and has vowed never to surrender suspects for trial.

Darfur has been in turmoil since 2003, when ethnic African rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government, whom they accuse of discrimination.

The Khartoum government is accused of retaliating by unleashing Arab militias on civilians _ a charge the government denies. The U.N. estimates 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have been displaced in the conflict.