Bashir has left the building, court orders his arrest

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir seen during the 'Family photograph' taken at the AU Summit in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, 14 June 2015.

JOHANNESBURG –Sudan President Omar al-Bashir left the country on Monday, as the state battled it out in the North Gauteng High Court with SA Litigation Centre lawyer seeking to have the head of state arrested.

State lawyer William Mokhari,"We have reliable information that Bashir has departed."

Earlier the state had said Bashir was not on the list of passengers for a Sudanese plane that left Waterkloof Air Force Monday afternoon.

Just seconds before we received confirmation that Bashir had left the building, Judge Dustan Mlambo said that SA was legally bound to arrest Bashir. 

Judge Dunstan Mlambo said, “We will hand down an order and reasons will follow in a week. It is declared by court that conduct by respondents that they have failed to arrest Bashir is inconsistent with constitution of SA.”

“Must take reasonable steps to arrest Bashir without a warrant and detain him pending formal request for his surrender from ICC,” he added.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal court, (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity over atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict.

He arrived in South Africa on Saturday along with other African leaders for the 25th African Union heads of state and government summit.

Speaking at the North Gauteng High Court on Monday, SA Litigation Centre lawyer, Caroline James, said that if Bashir has in fact fled the country, the organisation will take further action against the South African government.

“We desperately hope that’s not true. We would hate the fact that South African government officials have acted in direct contravention of the court order that was issued in this court yesterday."

"It would be a very sad day for South Africa if we get confirmation our departments of home affairs as well as other government respondents in this case have acted contract to an order of court from their own country.”