Sudan Dismisses International Criminal Court Proceedings, Refuses to Hand Over Rebels

On Friday, Sudanese officials dismissed an investigation into crimes against humanity in Darfur and refused to deliver any suspects to the International Criminal Court, which is widely expected to go after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

A prosecutor for the court, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, will present evidence and name one or more new suspects on Monday in his investigation into crimes in the vast western region of Sudan. As many as 300,000 people have been killed since 2003 in fighting between rebel forces and the government and its allied militia fighters.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has made it clear he is going after senior Sudanese government officials. U.N. officials and other experts say al-Bashir is expected to be charged with crimes against humanity and genocide.

A spokesman for the Sudanese president said Friday that the government "doesn't care" about the ICC, which he said has "no authority." Mahjoub Fadul Badry called the ICC prosecutor a "terrorist" whose investigation is based on biased testimony from rebel leaders.

Badry said the government would not hand over any suspects, even rebel leaders.

"Moreno-Ocampo's report depends on verbal testimony of rebel leaders and organizations that work under a humanitarian cover but in fact are branches of the intelligence apparatuses of other countries," Badry told The Associated Press.

"In the end, we don't really care what he says."

The court, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, did not say who will be identified as a suspect in the document Monday or give any details of the charges. But U.N. officials and diplomats say Sudan's president is widely expected to be charged.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council in June, Moreno-Ocampo alleged that Sudan's "whole state apparatus" is implicated in crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Sudan's ambassador to the U.N., Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed, warned that issuing an arrest warrant for senior government officials would threaten Sudan's relations with the U.N.

"That step would close the door of dialogue between Sudan and the United Nations," Mohamed was quoted as saying in Friday's Al-Sahafa newspaper.