War Crimes Warrant Sought Against Gadhafi, Kin

Monday, 16 May 2011 04:04 PM

By Martin Gould

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The International Criminal Court has been asked to issue a warrant for the arrest of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and two close relatives on charges of crimes against humanity. And sources within the government in Tripoli are ready to help prosecutors go after the three men, reports The Guardian.

Moammar Gadhafi, Libya, war crimes“During the last week, the office of the prosecutor received several calls from high-level officials in Gadhafi's regime willing to provide information," said a statement from the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

A panel of three judges, sitting in the Dutch capital, The Hague, will now decide whether to grant the warrants.

Gadhafi’s government immediately dismissed the International Court complaint saying NATO was guilty of breaking international law by targeting the leader. “We will not show any attention to the decision,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim. He called the court “a baby of the European union designed for prosecuting African leaders.”

Oreno-Ocampo presented the case against Gadhafi, his second son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi, saying they should face trial for crushing peaceful protests by ordering attacks with live ammunition and heavy weapons.

There is evidence that the three met regularly to plan and direct the operations against the protesters. The complaint described Senussi as “the executioner.”

“The evidence shows that Moammar Gadhafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians,” said Moreno-Ocampo. "His forces attacked Libyan civilians in their homes and in the public space, shot demonstrators with live ammunition, used heavy weaponry against participants in funeral processions and placed snipers to kill those leaving mosques after the prayers.

"Gadhafi's forces prepare lists with names of alleged dissidents. They are being arrested, put into prisons in Tripoli, tortured and made to disappear."

Moreno-Ocampo said that, if the warrant is granted, it will mostly up to the Libyan people to make sure it is enforced — a clear invitation for dissidents in Gadhafi’s government to turn against him.

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