ICJ to rule on war crimes case against Chad's Habre
Posted Monday, July 16 2012 at 19:06
The International Court of Justice will rule on Friday on Belgium's demand to have former Chad president Hissene Habre prosecuted for crimes against humanity, the ICJ announced Monday.
Brussels wants Senegal, where Habre is under house arrest, to either prosecute the ex-leader or extradite him so that Belgium itself can take him to court.
"The ICJ, the United Nations' main judicial body, will deliver its ruling on Friday, July 20, 2012 on the case concerning questions related to obligations to prosecute or extradite (Belgium v. Senegal)," the court said in a statement.
"A public hearing will take place at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), during which the President of the Court, Mr. Peter Tomka, will read the Court's ruling," added the ICJ, which is based in The Hague.
According to a Chadian commission of inquiry, the eight-year Habre regime was responsible for more than 40,000 deaths among political opponents and certain ethnic groups.
Habre has lived in exile in Dakar since since he was deposed in 1990 by current President Idriss Deby Itno, a former associate who rebelled against him.
Brussels issued an arrest warrant against Habre in 2005, after a Belgian of Chadian origin filed a complaint against him in 2000 under Belgium's "universal competence" law.
The law allows those accused of crimes under international law which have affected Belgians to be tried in Belgium.
Brussels has since filed several unsuccessful extradition requests to bring Habre to Belgium on charges including crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture.
While Dakar agreed in 2006 under pressure from the African Union to put Habre on trial it has yet to do so.
Arguing that Dakar's refusal to prosecute or extradite Habre for crimes against humanity "violates the general obligation to punish crimes against international humanitarian law," Brussels approached the ICJ in 2009.
The ICJ held six hearings from March 12 to 21, 2012 during which representatives from both Belgium and Senegal presented their arguments.
Last month Senegal's new President Macky Sall said that Habre would be tried in Senegal, saying a working group set up into his case was currently examining it.