Situation in Darfur, Sudan
Case: The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus
On 17 June, 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber I set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) for 22 November, 2010.
Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner declared that this scheduled date is without prejudice for the Chamber to review this date for advancement or postponement after being informed of specific information on disclosure of evidence to the Defence and on witness protection.
The decision was announced at the voluntary, initial appearance of Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in compliance with the summonses to appear issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I. Both are suspected of having committed three war crimes during the attack against the peacekeeping mission of the African Union in North Sudan in September 2007.
During the initial appearance hearing, Pre-Trial Chamber I ensured that the two suspects were informed of the crimes that they are alleged to have committed and that they understood their rights under the Rome Statute.
Defence Counsel for the suspects, Karim Khan, stated that at this stage his clients do not waive their right to attend the confirmation of charges hearing, and that their final decision on that matter will be taken in due course. Article 61 of the Rome Statute provides that a confirmation hearing may be held in the absence of a suspect when the person has “waived his or her right to be present,” or “fled or cannot be found and all reasonable steps have been taken to secure his or her appearance before the Court and to inform the person of the charges, and that a hearing to confirm those charges will be held.” In that case, the person shall be represented by counsel where the Pre-Trial Chamber determines that it is in the interests of justice.
A confirmation hearing is held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If the charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a trial chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.
After their initial appearance, Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo will leave the Netherlands. They had arrived on 16 June at the premises of the Court and stayed in a location assigned to them by the ICC.
Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo are charged with three war crimes: (violence to life, in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, materials, units, and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission, and pillaging) allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September, 2007, against the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), a peace-keeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site, in the locality of Umm Kadada, North Darfur. It is alleged that the attackers killed 12 and severely wounded eight soldiers, destroyed communications facilities and other materials and appropriated property belonging to the AMIS.
This case is the fourth in the situation in Darfur after the cases of The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”), The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir and The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.
The suspects (Harun and Kushayb, and Al Bashir) in the first two cases remain at large. Abu Garda appeared voluntarily before the ICC on 18 May, 2009. The confirmation of charges hearing took place from 19 to 29 October, 2009. On 8 February, 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber I declined to confirm the charges against him.
The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by United Nations Security Council resolution 1593 on 31 March, 2005 under article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.
Questions and answers on the summonses to appear issued for Abdallah Banda Abaker Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus – English | Français | عربي
Case information sheet - English | Français | عربي
For further information, please contact Sonia Robla, Chief of Public Information and Documentation Section at +31 (0)70 515 8089 or +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26 or at [email protected]