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Sudan man jailed for "spying" in war crimes case
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Jan 28, 2009 - 7:29:58 AM

Sudan man jailed for "spying" in war crimes case

Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:25am EST
KHARTOUM, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A Sudanese man was sentenced to 17 years in jail on Wednesday for trying to pass sensitive documents about a high-ranking official accused of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

Mohamed Alsary Ibrahim became the first person in Sudan to be prosecuted for cooperating with the ICC, which is pursuing cases against Sudan's president and other nationals relating to atrocities carried out in the country's violent west.

Ibrahim was found guilty of spying, criminal conspiracy and passing on confidential military documents.

Ibrahim had denied the charges.

Khartoum North Court heard last month Ibrahim had been caught in a sting operation receiving confidential documents from a contact in one of Sudan's police forces.

A security officer told the court Ibrahim had been trying to "fabricate a relationship" between Ahmed Haroun, Sudan's state minister for humanitarian affairs, and the pro-government Janjaweed militias accused of war crimes in Darfur.

The security officer told the court Ibrahim meant to pass the documents to Sudanese-American contacts who had promised to pay him for the papers and pass them on to the ICC.

The ICC has already issued an arrest warrant for Haroun, accusing him of masterminding killings in the region. Sudan, which has signed but not ratified the treaty establishing the court, has refused to hand him over.

In July, the ICC's chief prosecutor also asked judges to issue a warrant for Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, accusing him of orchestrating genocide in Darfur. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, writing by Andrew Heavens; Editing by Nick Vinocur)

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