ICC issues warrant for Sudan defense chief

March 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's defense minister, charging him with war crimes.

Sudanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein is wanted on 41 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004, the United Nations said in a release.

The court's pre-trial chamber said there are "reasonable grounds" to believe Hussein is "criminally responsible for 20 counts of crimes against humanity," including "persecution, murder, forcible transfer, rape, inhumane acts, imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty and torture."

In addition, Hussein faces 21 counts of war crimes, which include "murder, attacks against civilian population, destruction of property, rape, pillaging and outrage upon personal dignity."

ICC judges also have issued arrest warrants for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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