Not guilty pleas were made by a man accused of being the leader of Sudan’s government-linked militia known as “Janjaweed” in the first war crimes trial held by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Atrocities committed by Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman include murder, rape, pillaging, and torture. He is charged with overseeing thousands of pro-government militiamen during the peak of fighting from 2003 to 2004.
When the charges were read out at the start of his trial on Tuesday, the accused said, “I am innocent of all of these charges.”
According to UN estimates, 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million were forced to flee their homes in Darfur as a result of the conflict, making this the first trial before the Hague-based ICC for Darfur-related crimes.
The 72-year-old Abd-Al-Rahman sat motionless as the 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed in 2003-04 were read out loud.
The Hague-based court accepted Abd-Al-surrender Rahman in June 2020.
He has consistently denied the allegations, and his attorneys have argued that he was not the militia leader known as Ali Kushayb. Earlier stages of the proceedings.
A historic day had finally arrived for Sudanese citizens who had been waiting for justice for nearly two decades, according to ICC prosecutor Karim Khan.
During the trial, which Khan expects to last several months, Abd-Al-Rahman will give many disturbing testimonies about his own “beastly” acts of violence.
According to him, “there are so many examples of abuse, not just using his ax, not just killing people, not just ordering the executions of children or men,” he said.