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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The president of Sudan became a wanted man Wednesday when the International Criminal Court charged him with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur — its first action against a sitting head of state and one that could set the stage for more world leaders to be indicted.
President Omar al-Bashir's government retaliated by expelling 10 humanitarian groups from Darfur and seizing their assets, threatening lifesaving operations, a U.N. spokeswoman said.
"Head of state immunity no longer is a bar to prosecuting heads of state who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity during their time in office," said David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University and former prosecutor of the Sierra Leone tribunal that indicted exiled Liberian President Charles Taylor and put him on trial in The Hague. After he left office, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was indicted by the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.