International Prosecutor Wants Libya to Arrest Gadhafi

Posted June 28th, 2011 at 8:45 am (UTC-5)
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The International Criminal Court's top prosecutor demanded Tuesday that aides to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi arrest him and hand him to the court for trial.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo's remarks Tuesday came after The Hague-based court issued arrest warrants Monday for Mr. Gadhafi and two top lieutenants on war crimes charges linked to their suppression of an opposition uprising.

But Moreno-Ocampo said NATO forces, launching air strikes in support of rebels fighting against Mr. Gadhafi, have no legal method to arrest him.

Libya dismissed the arrest warrants late Monday. Justice Minister Mohammad al-Gamudi said Libya does not accept the legitimacy of the court.

The ICC issued the warrants earlier Monday against Mr. Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and the head of Libyan intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi.

The ICC indictment accuses the Libyan leader and his aides of deterring protesters through the use of detention, torture and lethal force, such as ordering snipers to fire on civilians leaving mosques.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that the warrants are another indication Mr. Gadhafi “has lost his legitimacy.” He said the Libyan leader must be held accountable.

Britain, France and Italy all praised the arrest warrants.

Mr. Gadhafi is the second sitting head of state to have an ICC arrest warrant issued against him. One was previously issued for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, but has yet to be served.

A NATO campaign of air strikes on Libyan government targets entered its 101st day Tuesday