High Court Dismisses Bashir Case

17th, November 2017

Hon. Justice Moses Mukiibi, the head of the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court On November 15, 2017, declined to order for the arrest of President Omar al-Bashir on grounds that it was unnecessary.

The Court in Kampala dismissed anapplication by a local activist group to arrest the visiting Sudan President.

"Uganda is awaiting sanctions by the UNsecurity council for failing to arrest President Bashir in May last year.Therefore, it is unnecessary to issue an immediate arrest warrant againstpresident Bashir," Hon. Justice Mukiibi ruled.

Last year, ICC referred Uganda to the UNSecurity Council to take measures against it over failure to arrest HE Bashirduring his visit in the country.
Uganda and a number of African states including South Africa have declined toarrest Bashir.  They argue that the court is only targeting countries inAfrica.

HE Bashir was indicted by the ICC in 2009 but has since denied the charges. HE Bashir is wanted by ICC on suspicion of masterminding atrocities includinggenocide in the breakaway Darfur region of western Sudan between 2003 and 2008where thousands of people allegedly lost lives.

Uganda victims Foundation through its lawyer Mr.Nicholas Opio wanted the court to issue a standing warrant of arrest againstpresident Bashir.

According to Mr. Opio, Uganda as a member ofthe war crimes court is obliged to carry out ICC arrest warrants.

The case was against the Attorney General andJustice Minister Maj (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire.

They also wanted court to declare that thejustice minister and the government acted against the Uganda’s will andobligations of the international treaties by failing to arrest HE Bashir twice.

However, hearing of the main application didnot proceed yesterday because the Attorney General William Byaruhanga had notyet filed his response.

Hearing of the main suit was adjourned toDecember 12, 2017.