First Published: 2011-05-18

 

ICC prosecutor: Libya faces possible charges

 

Moreno-Ocampo warns whole Libyan regime it could face investigation, prosecution if it tries to cover up crimes committed against its people.

 

Middle East Online

Moreno-Ocampo

THE HAGUE - The International Criminal Court's prosecutor warned the whole Libyan regime Wednesday it could face investigation and prosecution if it tries to cover up crimes committed against its people.

"(Libyan) diplomats working in Libya cannot be part of the cover-up of these crimes -- we want to be clear on that," Luis Moreno-Ocampo said at a press conference in The Hague, where the world court is based.

"Failure to do so would result in an investigation and prosecution," he added.

His warning comes as his office on Wednesday sent a letter to Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi calling on him and "other Libyan authorities to refrain from being involved in such a cover-up."

The office "considers that part of the criminal plan implemented in Libya includes the cover-up of the crimes" committed to quash a popular uprising against Colonel Moamer Gathafi that erupted in February.

Asked how the regime's officials covered up crimes, Moreno-Ocampo said: "Even Mr Gathafi himself said 'where's the bodies', because what they do is that their doctors are prohibited to register dead people in hospitals... the bodies are hidden."

"If they shoot at or attack a mosque sometimes they destroy the mosque to terminate any links connected to the crime," he said.

The Argentinian prosecutor on Monday asked the court's judges to issue arrest warrants against Gathafi, his second-oldest son Seif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi -- for crimes against humanity.

Libya's government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim dismissed the ICC's bid, saying the court has no jurisdiction over Tripoli while denying accusations that the regime ordered the killing of civilians or hired mercenaries against them.

However, Moreno-Ocampo said Gathafi's regime is obliged to cooperate after the United Nations Security Council in February referred the Libyan crisis to the ICC prosecutor for investigation into crimes against humanity.

"Libya is a member of the United Nations and as such the UN Security Council resolutions are binding to Libya. Libya has the obligation to implement the arrest warrant," he said.

The prosecutor said his office continued to investigate crimes within Libya including information that numerous woman have been arrested and gang-raped.

His office was looking at whether Gathafi had ordered these rapes himself.

One of the leads was whether there was a link between the rapes and a huge consignment of Viagra drugs, which Moreno-Ocampo said were bought in "massive numbers to use."

His office was also looking at the killing of sub-Saharan Africans by rebel forces who accused "any black person" of being a mercenary fighting for Gathafi.

"After that there were allegations in Benghazi that black people were killed, just because they were being black," he said in reference to the rebels' capital.

Thousands of people have died in violent clashes pitting regime opponents and Gathafi loyalists, and forced some 750,000 to flee, according to data from the ICC and the UN.

 

Angry protesters storm Iraq Green Zone

War continues in Aleppo, with US-Russia agreement

Rouhani allies win second round of Iran parliament elections

Yemen government forces seize Qaeda training camp

Aleppo mourns paediatrician killed in air strike

UN council votes to bring back full Western Sahara mission

Air strike hits clinic in rebel-held Aleppo

US, Russia 'agree freeze' on two Syrian fronts

Libya unity government vows to end jihadist 'scourge'

Turkey demands 5 years jail for UK academic over 'terror propaganda'

UK pair accused of giving money to Brussels, Paris attacks suspect

Turkey says Bursa bomber linked to PKK

UN rights chief calls Syrian crisis 'shameful realpolitik'

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

South Sudan unveils unity government

Iranians vote in second round of parliamentary elections

Palestinians support, Israel opposes French peace initiative

Biden in surprise Iraq visit to support embattled government

MSF condemns strike on Aleppo hospital

Lifeline to millions in Syria 'may be broken' as violence intensifies

Turkish journalists get two years for publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Greece making 'incredible effort' to tackle migration issue

Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence and sectarianism'

Syria regime readies for major Aleppo offensive

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma

Suicide bomber targets Aden police chief

Death toll in Syria's Aleppo rises despite UN truce plea

Italy to introduce migrant fingerprinting at sea

UN envoy plans to hold another round of Syria peace talks

US proposes full restoration of Western Sahara mission

27 Yemeni soldiers dead in key offensive

Global press freedom drops to lowest level in 12 years

Constitutional amendment grants Jordan king more powers

Suicide bomber blows herself up in Turkey northwestern city

Austria adopts one of EU's toughest asylum laws

Netherlands warns no safety 'guarantees' for visitors to Turkey

Battered Aleppo residents ask: Where is Syria ceasefire?

Libya kidnappers release Serbian worker

Sinai bombing kills three Egypt policemen

UAE considers tough safety code after skyscraper fires

UNESCO says Palmyra retains 'authenticity' despite damage

Khamenei says US 'fomenting Iranophobia'

Russia applauds cooperation with US on Syria

Etihad Airways sees $103 million profit in 2015

Russia asks UN to list Syria rebel group as 'terrorist'