Monday, January 19, 2009

Trial of Hassan al-Turabi soon

The leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan Al-Turabi, detained without any charge since last Wednesday, will go on trial within days, according to the Sudan Tribune.

Al-Turabi was taken into custody two days after a call to the Sudanese president to assume his political responsibility on Darfur crimes and to face the charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes filed against him by the ICC prosecutor. However since his arrest the security services didn’t make a statement indicating why Turabi, 76, has been detained.

According to the Kuwait news agency, the opposition leader is held on charges of inciting JEM rebels to continue the escalation of violence in Darfur and to incite members of his party to join the group. Al-Bashir recently accused JEM of being the military wing of the PCP something Turabi has firmly denied. The Darfurian rebels staged a bold attack and fought fierce battles with the Sudanese army on the outskirts of the capital before they were repulsed.

Further, Turabi is also arrested for the numerous contacts with some of the political forces, which rejected the request of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to arrest the Sudanese President, in order to persuade them to reverse their position and support Al-Bashir’s indictment.

Sudanese opposition parties voiced their rejection to the charges against Sudanese president urging Khartoum to sign peace deal with rebels and try officials or militia leaders who committed crimes in Darfur. Turabi who was the mentor of the president since the 1989 to 1999, is the first Sudanese opposition leader to publically support the ICC move saying the national judiciary is not competent to try these crimes. Since the public filling of the application of charges against Al-Bashir on July 14, 2008, Sudanese authorities raised the press censorship and detained several rights activists and others over accusations related to the ICC and Darfur crimes.

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