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ICC opens probe into claims of mass rapes by Gaddafi loyalists

A team of investigators from the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] arrived in Libya on Wednesday to begin an inquiry into new allegations of sex crimes committed by loyalists of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Jane O'Toole is leading the ICC investigation into allegations that Gaddafi ordered mass rapes [Reuters report] and provided troops with sexual stimulants for the purpose of enforcing an official rape policy. According to Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile], the ICC has evidence that rape was used to punish women, instill fear and subdue the population [Global Post report]. Ocampo stated his investigation is nearly finished, and the results of this investigation may be used to file additional charges against Libya's chief of intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi [warrants], among others. It has been alleged that al-Senussi was involved in the ordering and organizing of mass rapes.

Ocampo revealed the possibility of new sex-related charges [JURIST report] in November. Also last month, Ocampo said that the ICC would allow Libya to conduct the trial of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi's son. Ocampo had traveled to Libya [JURIST report] to discuss details of Saif al-Islam and al-Senussi's trials with Libyan officials and decide where they should be held. Saif al-Islam was captured by Libyan opposition forces last month after arrest warrants were issued [JURIST reports] by the ICC for him, his father and al-Senussi in June. Muammar Gaddafi was killed [JURIST report] by opposition fighters in October.

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