PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is not yet a member of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and, therefore, is not obliged to comply with its provisions, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Therefore, it is not illegal for Malaysia to invite Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to attend the Langkawi International Dialogue (LID).
The Prime Minister said al-Bashir had been an active participant of the LID and had taken part in the dialogue’s 2002 and 2007 editions.
He also said it was the Malaysian Government’s decision to invite al-Bashir to the LID.
Anyone could give their views on the issue, but it was the official view of the Malaysian Government that mattered most, he added.
“Whatever we decide is the policy of the Government,” he told a press conference at the end of the first day of the dialogue.
Najib said the LID was an opportunity for Malaysia to play an informal role to help influence certain policies and actions that may result in a positive development in that part of the world.
It was reported that Sudan Foreign Minister Ali Karti would represent his country following al-Bashir’s decision not to attend the dialogue due to “pressing domestic engagements”.
The ICC, which has no police force and relies on member states to execute its orders and warrants, had issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir in July 2008 for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his role in the Darfur conflict, which saw an estimated 300,000 killed by civil unrest and 2.7 million others displaced.
On the dialogue, Najib said there were no plans to include Asean members and the present format would stay.
Source : The Star