President’s plane leaves South Africa as court continues to hear case on whether he should be arrested on ICC warrant.
Sudan’s information minister has said that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has flown out of South Africa, defying a high court order which banned him from leaving the country until an application calling for his arrest had been heard.
“Yes, he has left,” Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman confirmed the development saying that South Africa had always agreed not to arrest the president while he was in the country for the African Union summit.
Osman said President Bashir’s plane was due to land back in Khartoum at about 6:30pm local time (15:30 GMT).
The South African state broadcaster, SABC, first reported at about 10:15 GMT on Monday that the plane had flown out of the Waterkloof air force base, on the outskirts of Pretoria.
The lawyer appearing on behalf of the South African government, however, told the high court in Pretoria that President Bashir was not on the list of passengers in the Sudanese plane that left Waterkloof base.
Earlier, Sudanese Information Minister Osman said the president would return to Sudan on Monday.
“He is coming back to our country in one or two hours,” Osman said, adding that it did not matter if the court ordered Bashir’s arrest, as it had no ability to enforce such an order.
“The judiciary…does not have policemen. The president is there [in South Africa] and no one is going to arrest him.”
An interim order was made by the high court in Pretoria on Sunday, barring President Bashir from leaving the country pending an application from civil society organisations, calling for his arrest.


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