In the past, several political and military leaders have been tried for war crimes, said ICC prosecutor Karim Khan. “There are so many examples of people who thought they were above the law” and that “have found themselves in court”he observed, quoting former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, or Liberian Charles Taylor.
The ICC in 2012 convicted former Liberian warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic died in his cell in The Hague in 2006 while being tried for genocide by the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The case of Omar al-Bechir is a counter-example to these successes of the ICC. The former Sudanese president has been targeted since 2010 by an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. However, he has visited several countries since, some of which are signatories to the ICC, such as South Africa, and which have not arrested him. El-Bashir was eventually arrested in his own country in 2019, on charges of corruption, attempted coup and murder of protesters. He is currently being held in a Sudanese military hospital.