Suspected Darfur war criminal denies charges

A Sudanese accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court made his first press appearance in a local newspaper Sunday to profess his innocence. In comments made to the pro-Arab, pro-Islamist Al Intibaha, Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, denied leading a group of janjaweed militias in attacking civilians. Instead, he claimed to be an ex-soldier recruited for the Popular Defense Forces to protect villagers and nomads from the "real janjaweed" in the areas of Wadi Salih and West Darfur state. "We did not kill any innocent people and we did not cause the displacement of any people," he said. He accused "rebel elements" of setting him up to be accused of the alleged crimes.