The Hague, Netherlands – On Monday the chief prosecutor with the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested that judges in ICC member nations issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and others for alleged crimes against humanity against the Libyan people.
According to the document released by the ICC, in addition to Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam Gadhafi and Libyan Chief of intelligence Abdullah al-Sanoussi were allegedly directly involved in the crimes against humanity involving the attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians. The three were stated as being involved in not only the decision to use deadly force on the country’s people, but also the planning and actual implementation of the actions.
If issued, arrest warrants are not expected to be served immediately as Libya is not a member of the ICC, though they are expected to play a role in the future if and when those under the warrant enter into exile to other nations who are a part of the ICC.
BBC News reported that ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the press in a news conference at the ICC headquarters at The Hague, Netherlands, “[Gadhafi’s] forces attacked Libyan civilians in their homes and in public spaces, shot demonstrators with live ammunition, used heavy weaponry against participants in funeral processions, and placed snipers to kill those leaving mosques after prayers.”
Moreno-Ocampo, he remarked that Gadhafi’s agents have created lists of dissidents who have then been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. He added that Gadhafi has implemented “a systematic policy of suppressing any challenge to his authority,” and that Colonel Gadhafi, his son Seif, and al-Sanoussi “held meetings to plan and direct the operations” of the attacks against demonstrators.
With the final decision on whether to issue warrants now up to ICC judges, Moreno-Ocampo stated, “The case is now in their hands.”
According to its website, the ICC is governed by the Rome Statute and was created as a “permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.”
Although United States President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute on December 31, 2000, the treaty was not ratified by the U.S. Senate, and in 2002 President George W. Bush “unsigned” the treaty.
The ICC is independent of the United Nations.