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Al-Bashir saga: ‘Govt’s appeal has no prospect of success’

The Sudanese president is wanted by the court on several charges including genocide.

FILE: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Litigation Centre has argued that government has no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal against the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir matter because the laws that required his arrest are crystal clear.

A full bench, led by Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, heard the application in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday.

In June, the bench ruled that government was bound by commitments to the International Criminal Court(ICC) to arrest al-Bashir.

The Sudanese president is wanted by the court on several charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity.

Representing the litigation Centre, Advocate Wim Trengove says there are clear and unambiguous provision which compel the government to act.

"Firstly the sections that impose the duty on the South African government to give effect to an ICC warrant, but what if he is a head of state? There are two provisions that makes it clear that is no difference at all."

But government advocate Jeremy Gauntlett says there are significant questions of interpretations.

"There is no in point clear president will enable the court to say there is no reasonable prospect of another court seeing it differently to what we did."

Judgement has been reserved.