ICC to investigate Libya war crimes committed by NATO, NTC forces
ICC to investigate Libya war crimes committed by NATO, NTC forces
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[JURIST] All war crimes allegations against NATO, opposition and pro-Gaddafi forces committed during the recent conflict will be investigated “impartially and independently” according to a statement [text, PDF] Wednesday by the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official websites]. In his statement to the UN Security Council [official website], Ocampo gave an update on the events in Libya regarding the ICC investigation. According to the statement, after obtaining the required documents confirming Muammar Gaddafi’s death, the case against him [warrant] will likely be dropped. The statement continued by detailing the cases against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi’s son, and Abdullah Al-Senussi [warrants], Libya’s head of intelligence, and what is being done to secure their capture. Ocampo went on to discuss a jurisdictional issue involved in the case, saying:

The Office was informed that the new Libyan authorities are in the process of preparing a comprehensive strategy to address crimes, including the circumstances surrounding the death of Muammar Gaddafi. In accordance with the Rome Statute the International Criminal Court should not intervene if there are genuine national proceedings. Should the Libyan authorities decide to prosecute Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al Sanussi for the same crimes under investigation by the International Criminal Court, they should submit an admissibility challenge and it will be for the ICC Judges to decide.

This admissibility challenge would be need to be filed under Article 18 Section 7 [text] of the Rome Statute. He concluded by saying his office will be prepared to issue a full report on the allegations in May of 2012.

Ocampo’s statement comes as the conflict in Libya [JURIST backgrounder] is winding down with the overthrow [JURIST report] of the Gaddafi regime. It is also in response to the Gaddafi family filing a war crimes complaint [JURIST report] against NATO. The ICC is continuing to pursue [JURIST report] Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi on arrest warrants filed in June of this year. The ICC claims Saif Al-Islam was acting as Gaddafi’s “de facto Prime Minister” and calles Al-Sanussi Gaddafi’s “right-hand man” and “executioner.” They have reportedly attempted to leave Libya in an effort to surrender themselves to the ICC [JURIST report], according to the National Transitional Council (NTC) [official website].