THE HAGUE - The International Criminal Court has denied that it has issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Dutch news wire ANP reported Thursday.
‘The information is incorrect, there is no arrest warrant at this stage,’ an ICC spokeswoman for The Hague-based court said.
Further details were not immediately available after the New York Times Wednesday had reported on its website that the ICC had decided to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president. It would mark the first time the ICC would seek the arrest of a sitting head of state.
But doubts about the development already surfaced late Wednesday after a spokeswoman at UN headquarters in New York denied the report that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had been notified by the court that a warrant would be issued.
‘No decision has been received by the secretary general,’ she said late Wednesday. ‘We do not anticipate receiving such communication. We do not normally receive decisions of the court.’
In July, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo called for Bashir’s arrest on allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western Darfur region, where an ethnic conflict has raged since 2003.