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Erdoğan says he laughed at ICC extradition demand for al-Bashir

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he laughed at an International Criminal Court (ICC) demand for the extradition of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Hürriyet reported on Thursday.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants, on March 4, 2009 and July 12, 2010, for al-Bashir on five counts of crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of Sudan between the years 2003 and 2008.

Noting that the ICC sent a letter demanding the extradition of al-Bashir during his participation in an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) emergency summit in Istanbul on Dec. 13, Erdoğan said while on his Africa tour: “First of all, we are not a member of that court. Second, they do not know who is who and where anybody is. It could be only laughed at.”

“A person who as a member participates in the OIC summit with us, and we will extradite him to you… What kind of understanding is this? It is impossible to understand. We laughed and forgot it,” Erdoğan told reporters on his plane while flying from Chad to Tunisia. Erdoğan paid a two-day visit to Sudan on Dec. 24-25 in the first stop of his Africa tour.

According to a statement on the ICC website, “Until Omar al-Bashir is arrested and transferred to the seat of the Court in The Hague, the case will remain in the Pre-Trial stage. The ICC does not try individuals unless they are present in the courtroom.”

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