Prosecutor files documents in International Criminal Court on Darfur war

THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court's prosecutor on Tuesday named a former Sudanese junior minister as a suspect in war crimes in Darfur, saying he helped recruit Janjaweed militias responsible for murders, rapes and torture.

Ahmed Muhammed Harun, the former junior interior minister responsible for the western Darfur region, and a Janjaweed militia leader, Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, were suspected of a total of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said.

Mr. Harun recruited Janjaweed, ``with full knowledge that they, often in the course of joint attacks with the [Sudanese] armed forces, would commit crimes against humanity and war crimes against the civilian population of Darfur,'' Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said in a 94-page document filed with the court's judges.

The investigation by prosecutors at the world's first global war crimes court established a clear link between the Sudanese authorities and the Janjaweed.

The announcement unveiled details of its investigation for the first time into the region where more than 200,000 persons have been killed and 2.5 million displaced from their homes.

While the prosecution document is not an indictment, it does say that there are ``reasonable grounds to believe'' that Mr. Harun and Mr. Kushayb ``bear criminal responsibility'' for the offences including murder, rape, torture and persecution. AP