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ICC prosecutor urges Gaddafi aides to implement arrest warrant

International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] on Tuesday urged [press release] personal aides of Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to implement the arrest warrants issued Monday [JURIST report]. Moreno-Ocampo called on the aides to arrest Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the "de facto Prime Minister," and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi [warrants, PDF], the head of intelligence, for alleged crimes against the people of Libya to quell the revolt that began last February, saying the aides could be "part of the solution." Though Libya is not a signatory of the Rome Statute [text] granting the ICC its jurisdiction, Moreno-Ocampo said, "Libya has to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1970, which specifically called on Libya to "cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor.'" Libya has rejected the warrants [Pakistan Times report], claiming the ICC is a vehicle for European foreign policy. Libyan citizens celebrated [Guardian report] the ICC's announcement that it had issued the arrest warrants.

Last week, Moreno-Ocampo presented the arrest warrants' supporting materials to Pre-Trial Chamber. He said his office had gathered "direct evidence" [JURIST report] that shows Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on civilian protestors and that his forces used live ammunition on crowds, attacked civilians in their homes, used heavy weapons against people in funeral processions and placed snipers to shoot those leaving mosques after prayer services. Moreno-Ocampo announced [JURIST report] last month that his office was pursuing arrest warrants against Gaddafi and the two others in his "inner circle." He said Saif al-Islam was acting as Gaddafi's "de facto Prime Minister" and called al-Sanussi Gaddafi's "right-hand man" and "executioner." At that time, Moreno-Ocampo said his office was almost prepared for trial, having collected quality testimony from some who have fled Libya. There have been numerous allegations of war crimes and human rights violations over the Libyan revolt which has persisted since February. Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] decided to extend a mandate to an investigative panel instructing it to continue its investigation of human rights abuses in Libya, after it published a 92-page report [JURIST reports]. The report claims Libyan authorities have committed crimes against humanity such as acts constituting murder, imprisonment and other severe deprivations of physical liberties, torture, forced disappearances and rape "as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack."

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