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[Published: Wednesday January 28 2009]

Sudanese 'war crimes spy' jailed

Khartoum, 28 Jan-(ANA)-A Sudanese man has been jailed for 17 years for passing on sensitive files about a Darfur war crimes suspect to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mohammed Alsary Ibrahim was convicted of spying, criminal conspiracy and passing on confidential military documents about a Sudanese minister.

Mr Ibrahim, who denied the charges, is the first person in Sudan to be prosecuted for helping the ICC.

Tension is high, as ICC judges decide whether to indict Sudan's president.

The ICC prosecutor has accused President Omar al-Bashir of responsibility for ward crimes in Darfur, prompting angry responses from his government.

Mr Ibrahim was accused of trying to link Ahmed Haroun - Sudan's state minister for humanitarian affairs - with the Janjaweed militia, which is accused of widespread atrocities in Darfur.

The trial in Khartoum last month heard that Mr Ibrahim had been caught in a sting operation receiving secret documents from a Sudanese police contact.

A security officer told the court Mr Ibrahim had planned to pass the files to a Sudanese-American contact for money so they could be handed to the global court.

Mr Ibrahim, who has two weeks to appeal, remained silent as the verdict was read out but his three sisters burst into tears, AFP news agency reports.

Judge Abdel Wahab Ismael said the sentence was harsh but that the spying charge could have carried the death penalty, according to Reuters news agency.(ANA)

FA/ANA/28 January 2009---


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