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ICC prosecutor to brief UN on Libya war crimes probe

International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] announced [press release] on Thursday his plans to brief the UN Security Council [official website] on May 4 on the progress of his investigation into alleged human rights violations by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The prosecutor is expected to request that judges issue warrants against the most serious perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya. The ICC is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1970 [text], the first unanimous referral to the ICC in UN history [JURIST report]. Allegations against Gaddafi [JURIST report] include ordering aircraft to attack civilians, torturing and abducting civilians, ordering the execution of hospital patients and firing on crowds of protestors.

Earlier this month, the UN opened its own investigation [JURIST report] into alleged human rights violations, to work in concert with the ICC investigation which was opened in early March [JURIST report]. Moreno-Ocampo specifically identified Gaddafi, his sons and political allies as targets of the investigation and warned that any Libyan official complicit in the crimes risked prosecution and would not be granted immunity [JURIST report]. The UN General Assembly [official website] voted last month to suspend Libya [JURIST report] from the UN Human Rights Council [official website] in response to the Libyan government's attacks against civilians.

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