Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ICC prosecutor asks for Gaddafi arrest warrant

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday asked judges in The Hague to issue an arrest warrant against Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi on charges of crimes against humanity.

'The evidence shows that Moamer Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians,' Luis Moreno-Ocampo told journalists in The Hague.

Moreno-Ocampo was also requesting arrest warrants for one of Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam, and another member of the regime.
He said his office had obtained 'strong evidence' that serious crimes were being committed in Libya. These include rape, murder and war crimes.

'Moamer Gaddafi committed the crimes with the goal of preserving his absolute authority,' Moreno-Ocampo said.

'Gaddafi ruled Libya through fear,' but 'I think Libyans are losing the fear now,' he said.

Moreno-Ocampo said it was now up to judges in The Hague to decide whether to issue the arrest warrants, reject the prosecutor's request or ask for more evidence. Such a process could last several weeks or months.

The prosecutor also said it would be up to Libyans, not to the international community, to implement the arrest warrants.

In February, the United Nations Security Council authorised Moreno-Ocampo to investigate allegations of war crimes in Libya.

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