If he is hiding in a Bunker in the middle of his country, who can arrest him?
Muammar el-Qaddafi issued warrant for war crimes Muammar el-Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and his chief of intelligence, Abdullah Senussi were issued warrants today by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The charges were crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution.
“Today ICC judges decided after evaluating the evidence that Muammar Qaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and Abdulla Al-Senussi are responsible for crimes allegedly committed in Libya,” the prosecutor’s office said in a written statement. “To prevent them covering up ongoing crimes and committing new crimes, they should be arrested. This is the only way to protect civilians in Libya.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan leader is suspected of crimes against humanity. Two other persons wanted by the tribunal are his son Seif al-Islam, who commands one of the Libyan Army’s divisions, and Abdullah al-Sanousi, head of the country’s intelligence.
Gaddafi and his associates are suspected of crimes against Libyan civilians, committed as the government was trying to quell the uprising in the country’s east in February 2011.
The request for the order was sent to the ICC on May 16.
Libyan authorities have already said that they do not recognize the decision of the ICC, claiming they have not signed the Rome Treaty that set up the court. On Sunday, the Libyan Foreign Ministry announced that the issuing of the arrest warrant is not under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and that the ICC is set against African countries.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee, explained why the ICC arrest warrant cannot be applied to the Libyan leader. ”The decision of the International Criminal Court is not legally binding for Libya, for a simple reason – Libya is not a member state of the court, and as long as Mr. Gaddafi stays on Libya’s territory, this decision cannot be fulfilled.”
The ICC, however, says the Libyan authorities have to comply with their sanctions because the request for an arrest warrant was forwarded to the ICC by the UN Security Council, and Libya has to obey the UN Security Council resolutions. The International Criminal Court was established to prosecute officials who have committed crimes against humanity or genocide, if their own country cannot do so.
In the meantime, the bombing of the Libyan capital by NATO forces continues. There were reports of an extremely heavy artillery fire on Monday morning. The bombs allegedly fell near Gaddafi’s compound and not too far from the hotel where the international journalists are staying.
In March, the UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and allowed attacks against Libyan troops in order to protect civilians.The mandate has been abused by the NATO-led coalition, some activists and officials say, resulting in a bombing campaign aimed at ousting Gaddafi from power or killing him. The NATO operation in Libya is met with increasing criticism from military and political observers who say the bombings bear no fruit, as Gaddafi remains defiant and there is no evident progress. The world is now watching to see whether the ICC decision to issue an arrest warrant for Gaddafi will have any significant effort on the situation in Libya.
- ICC issues Qaddafi warrant: Key prosecutions of world leaders (csmonitor.com)
- Libya:ICC to decide on Colonel Gaddafi (laaska.wordpress.com)
- International Arrest Warrant Issued for Qaddafi (theroot.com)
- Court Issues Gaddafi Warrant (bigthink.com)
- ICC issues arrest warrant for Gadhafi (macleans.ca)