Friday, February 13, 2009

So what *was* up with that fakeout leak at the ICC???

Only the insiders and their friends know... here's some people who have good street cred... Wrongingrights:
ICC Definitely, Probably, Maybe, or Possibly Not About to Issue Bashir Warrant
Kind of a crazy day, huh?

First the New York Times reports this morning that the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC has decided to go ahead and approve Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's request for a warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan. Then hours later the ICC responds with a tersely worded statement to the effect of "Nuh-uh."

This is either hella embarrassing or kind of a mean trick to play on all those media organizations chomping at the bit to bust out some portentous headlines about the first head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court. Michelle at Stop Genocide speculates that it might be the latter:

"[B]y leaking the information in the days before the announcement, and then issuing an obligatory denial, someone out there might be trying to soften the blow, test the waters, or at least give a warning to the international community that this is finally coming."

Word on the street (by which I mean the actual streets of the Hague, where international justice rumors flow fast and hot like so much raw sewage) suggests that this may not be far off the mark. The general consensus seems to be that the only question left unsettled is when, not whether, the arrest warrant will be issued.

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