- Belgium has urged the International Court of Justice, the UN highest court on Monday to compel Senegal to try the former Chadian leader, Hissene Habre, or extradite him to Belgium.
Mr Habré who has been living in exile in Senegal since he was ousted from power 19 years ago and currently under house arrest is accused of gross violations of human rights during his eight-year rule from 1982 to 1990 in the West African state.
The Belgium lawyers informed the ICJ on Monday that Mr Habre might go into hiding if Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade lifts his house arrest. Mr Wade has warned he might do so if funding is not found for a trial in Senegal.
The lawyers also said if Senegal allows Mr Habre to evade prosecution, this would amount to an irrevocable breach of Senegal's obligations under international law.
Belgium, which issued an international warrant for Mr Habre's arrest in 2005 has filed a case against Senegal in the ICJ in February to compel it to prosecute the ex-president or to extradite him for trial on charges of torture and crimes against humanity.
The Senegalese government had said the trial for the former dictator would only take place when sufficient financing is available. It expects the trial to cost around US $38 million.
Belgium has been pushing for years for him to be prosecuted in Senegal or sent to Brussels for trial in a case brought by Belgian nationals of Chadian descent.
The former Chadian ruler was first indicted in Senegal in 2000 but its courts ruled he could not be tried there. Senegal then rebuffed a Belgian extradition request for Mr Habré in 2005.
Mr Habré's and his 11 leaders of eastern rebel group were sentenced to death in absentia in Chad.
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