International prosecutor is 'terrorist': Sudan envoy

Sudan's U.N. ambassador said on Wednesday the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, was a "terrorist" and should be replaced as soon as possible.

 International prosecutor is 'terrorist': Sudan envoy

Khartoum's U.N. envoy Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem was reacting to comments from an ICC spokeswoman last week that the court had planned to arrest a Sudanese minister by diverting a plane he was traveling on.

"This is an act of terrorism," Abdalhaleem told Reuters in a telephone interview from Khartoum. "It is piracy. Ocampo is a terrorist and he should be removed from the post."

The idea was to divert a plane carrying Ahmad Harun, Sudan's minister for humanitarian affairs, as it was heading for Saudi Arabia, where the annual Muslim haj pilgrimage is held in Mecca, spokeswoman Florence Olara said.

The pilgrimage, which Muslims must perform at least once if they are able, took place last year from December 17 to 21.

"Using cooperation from some states, the plane would have been diverted," ICC spokeswoman Florence Olara said last week.

"There was a country ready to receive the plane once it was diverted, but he was tipped off and got off the plane. So he never went to Mecca."

Abdalhaleem said it was especially infuriating that other countries were willing to help the ICC in the failed operation.

"We are considering tough measures against this man. He should be removed without further delay," he said, adding that Moreno Ocampo and his plan should be condemned by the international community.

On the same day that Moreno Ocampo spoke, 15 Security Council envoys met Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who told them that Khartoum would never hand over Harun or any other suspect.

Costa Rica, a Security Council member, has drafted a so-called presidential statement in which the council would condemn Khartoum for refusing to comply with a legally binding council resolution.

Sudan has said it would not comply with ICC's demands because it is not a party to the court.

Abdalhaleem reacted angrily to the news that Costa Rica was leading the drafting process.

"We don't interfere in any of the banana republics," he told reporters at the time. "Why are they interfering in ours? It's a shame for Costa Rica to do that."

Costa Rica's U.N. Ambassador Jorge Urbina declined to comment on the Sudanese envoy's remark.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Haziran 2008, 14:06