Today, (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo informed the United Nations Security Council that in a few weeks he will request the judges of the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants against three individuals for crimes against humanity committed in Libya since 15 February 2011. In accordance with the evidence, they are the most responsible of the crimes committed. The judges can reject the request, accept it or ask for more evidence.
The situation in Libya was unanimously referred to the Prosecutor of the ICC by the United Nations Security Council under Resolution 1970 adopted on 26 of February 2011.
According to the evidence collected so far, “Crimes against humanity have been and continue to be committed in Libya, attacking unarmed civilians including killings and persecutions in many cities across Libya” said the Prosecutor.
Resolution 1970 affirmed that peace and security and the protection of civilians in Libya required justice. “Justice is on course today; however, if those who order the crimes are not stopped and arrested murder, persecution, systematic arrests, torture, killings, enforced disappearances and attacks against unarmed civilians will continue unabated” said the Prosecutor.
Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo called on States to prepare for arrests should judges decide to issue arrest warrants. “Now is the time to start planning on how to implement possible arrest warrants” said the Prosecutor.
In addition, the Office of the Prosecutor will continue investigations on different forms of persecution against civilians in Tripoli and other areas, as well as commissions of rape and the unlawful arrest, mistreatment and killings of sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries.
The Office will also investigate the alleged commission of war crimes in Libya since the end of February, including the use of imprecise weaponry such as cluster munitions, multiple rocket launchers and mortars, and other forms of heavy weaponry, in crowded urban areas.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating in six situations: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, the Central African Republic, Kenya and Libya.