September 16, 2015 / 11:10 AM / 4 years ago

South African court rejects govt bid to appeal Bashir ruling: Talk Radio 702

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir greets his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma (L) at the Palace in Khartoum February 1, 2015. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court on Wednesday rejected the state’s bid to appeal a ruling that authorities had erred in letting Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir leave the country despite a court order barring him from doing so, a radio station said.

Judge Hans Fabricius, supported by two other judges, said Bashir did not enjoy diplomatic immunity against a global arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Talk Radio 702 reported.

Bashir, who was in South Africa for an African Union (AU) summit in June, was allowed to depart for Khartoum even though a Pretoria court had issued an order banning him from leaving.

President Jacob Zuma last month defended the government’s failure to detain Bashir, saying that the wanted leader had immunity as a guest of the AU.

The opposition Democratic Alliance party, which sponsored a failed motion in parliament to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the president for possible impeachment over his role in the saga, welcomed the court’s ruling against the appeal.

The ICC has since asked Zuma’s government to explain its decision to ignore the arrest warrant before October 5.

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