Belgium tells World Court Habre must not leave Senegal
* Belgium seeks quick ruling to stop Habre leaving Senegal
* Habre should be tried or extradited -lawyers for Belgium
* Senegal says Belgium's main goal is extradition
By Reed Stevenson
THE HAGUE, April 6 (Reuters) - Belgium told the World Court on Monday that exiled former Chadian President Hissene Habre should not leave Senegal while Belgium is seeking to force the African country to either try to him or extradite him.
Belgium, where the legal system allows it to prosecute serious foreign crimes, charged Habre in 2005 with crimes against humanity and torture.
It is seeking a provisional judgment from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, fearing Habre may be allowed to leave Senegal and evade prosecution by finding refuge in another country.
"This is an urgent threat," said Eric David, a lawyer representing Belgium.
Another lawyer, Michael Wood, said: "In Belgium's view it is Senegal that remains legally bound under Article 7 of the torture convention and other rules of international law to prosecute Mr. Habre or extradite him to Belgium."
Typically cases before the ICJ, the judicial arm of the United Nations that hears disputes between nations, take years to settle but if a party requests an "indication of provisional measures", judges can make a swift provisional order.
Senegal, which has also indicted Habre and has him under house arrest, has said a trial in Senegal should only take place when sufficient financing is in place. Senegal has said it expects the trial to cost 28 million euros ($38 million).
Senegal argues Belgium is pushing for extradition rather than helping it bring Habre to trial.
"Rather than to extend help to Senegal as it prepares to prosecute and try Mr Habre, Belgium seems to ignore the part played by Senegal in order to achieve the extradition," Senegal's Minister of Justice Madicke Niang told the court.
A trial in Dakar could be politically sensitive for Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, whose Democratic Party lost control of councils, including the capital Dakar, in elections last month interpreted as a rejection of Wade's son Karim, who many believe the president is grooming to succeed him.
Habre, who ruled Chad between 1982-90, is regarded as being close to leading marabouts, or Muslim teachers, who are highly influential in Senegalese politics.
Senegal, where Habre has lived since his overthrow in 1990, was ordered by the African Union two years ago to put him on trial.
Belgium is pushing for a trial after a Belgian national of Chadian origin and Chadian nationals filed complaints in Belgian courts in 2000 and 2001 accusing him of crimes against humanity.
He was sentenced to death in absentia by a Chadian court in August 2008 along with 11 leaders of the eastern rebellion. ($1=.7389 Euro) (Additional reporting by Svebor Kranjc; Editing by Alison Wililams)
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