The ICC’s Foiled Extraordinary Rendition

by Julian Ku

Kevin has no doubt put his finger on the key issues facing the ICC and Sudan. Plainly, the ICC is raising the stakes in its investigation of Sudan, a risky proposition given certain fragile peace accords emerging. More interesting to me is that the ICC last week revealed that it tried to capture wanted Sudan minister Ahmed Harun via an extraordinary rendition.



The plan, apparently, was to divert Harun’s plane away from its destination: Mecca, Saudi Arabia – and toward some ICC member state where he would be arrested and turned over the ICC custody.



The details are fuzzy. How would the plane have been “diverted.” Via some country’s military interceptors or via the crew of the plane itself? Isn’t such a diversion a possible violation of Sudanese sovereignty, tantamount to hijacking? It is essentially equivalent to sending avcovert force into Sudan and seizing Harun, and dragging him back to an ICC member state.



Of course, both the airplane scheme and the covert ops scheme can draw on the UN Security Council resolution authorizing the ICC case against Sudan. Even so, it is a bit sketchy legally since that resolution does not seem to provide clear authority for this. I can see the ICC’s defenders here saying this was still worth it, if you could get a guy like Harun. This is no doubt true, but it is hardly different from the U.S. claiming similar pragmatic reasons to seize and render suspected terrorists. Or is it?


http://opiniojuris.org/2008/06/09/the-iccs-foiled-extraordinary-rendition/

One Response

  1. Isn’t such a diversion a possible violation of Sudanese sovereignty, tantamount to hijacking?

    Does the ICC take the same position the US does, in that rendition doesn’t invalidate a prosecution?

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