ICC INDICTS GADDAFI June 28, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Human Rights, Humankind/Planet Earth.
The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for the Libyan leader and his son.
The court appears to be operating independently since it would be more expedient from the point of view of NATO for Gaddafi to find safe haven, thus bringing an end to war whose duration has exceeded expectations.
Ian Black in The Guardian reports:
Gaddafi, in power since 1969, is only the world’s second serving head of state to be issued with an arrest warrant. A warrant for the arrest of Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was issued in March 2009 over alleged crimes in Darfur.
Arrests were necessary to prevent a cover-up and more crimes, said the ICC presiding judge, Sanji Mmasenono Monageng.
The investigation launched by the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, follows a referral on 26 February by the UN security council. Resolution 1970 was supported by all members of the council, including Russia and China, which are unhappy with the Nato bombing campaign.
The ICC has been attacked by some for pursuing legal avenues at the expense of a possible political solution. Critics argue that Gaddafi and his closest associates will have no incentive to relinquish power or go into voluntary exile if they know they are certain to end up in the dock in The Hague.
In Britain, which is playing a leading role in Nato’s military campaign, some officials have said privately that the ICC case could be left “on the back burner” in the hope this would encourage Gaddafi to seek sanctuary in a friendly African country.
The Libyan leader has rejected any suggestion that he will stand down or leave the country. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who is well connected in the UK, has also vowed to “live or die” in Libya.
The Benghazi-based Libyan rebels have strongly supported the ICC case and submitted evidence to the prosecutor.
Monageng told the court there were “reasonable grounds to believe” the regime had killed or injured and arrested hundreds of civilians and that Muammar Gaddafi exercised full control over the security forces. His son was described as his father’s “unspoken successor” and the most influential person in his inner circle, with the powers of a de facto prime minister.
Now the International Criminal Court has taken this step, we might expect it not to stop there. Syria, Bahrain and perhaps Yemen come immediately to mind where similar indictments might be issued. And while they are about it, the invasion of Iraq should not be forgotten bearing in mind the UN weapon inspectors had not, at the time, completed their mission.
Institutions, such as the International Court to protect human rights and International Atomic Energy Agency to reduce nuclear weapons, will hopefully play a more important and effective role within the global political and social order. There are other
long-term global problems.