ICC prosecutor certain of Gaddafi war crimes charges

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official websites] told the press during a visit to Cairo Thursday that he is 100 percent certain his office will bring charges against Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Moreno-Ocampo said that his office is coordinating with a number of law enforcement organizations, including Interpol, in an investigation into six separate incidents in which Gaddafi is alleged to have ordered massive shooting attacks on peaceful protests, a process he said is certain to result in charges. Moreno-Ocampo warned Libyan officials last week [JURIST report; video] that any violence against civilians in the rebel-held capital Benghazi would result in prosecution for war crimes. His warning followed calls for a UN-imposed no-fly zone [JURIST report] over the Middle Eastern nation after reports surfaced indicating that Gaddafi had been using aircraft attacks to combat civilian protests. Shortly before the UN vote authorizing the resolution, Gaddafi threatened an imminent attack on Benghazi [NYT report]. Although the Libyan government responded to the ICC's warning with promises of a ceasefire [AP report], the attacks have continued.

Earlier this month, the ICC launched a probe to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity [JURIST report] by the Libyan government. Moreno-Ocampo specifically identified Gaddafi, his sons and his political allies as targets of the investigation and warned Libyan officials that complicity in such abuses would result in prosecution. Additionally, the UN appointed a team of special prosecutors [JURIST report] to investigate allegations that Gaddafi ordered forces to torture and abduct opponents. Gaddafi is accused of ordering hospital patients' executions, firing on crowds of protesters and using other extreme tactics against his opponents. The UN General Assembly has voted to suspend Libya [JURIST report] from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] in response to the violent suppression of peaceful protesters by forces loyal to Gaddafi. The ICC has also said that it will not grant immunity [JURIST report] to any person perpetrating crimes against humanity in Libya.

 

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