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.

 

Qatar blocks planes from transporting pilgrims

Russia destroys large column of IS fighters in Syria

Erdogan says joint op with Iran against Kurds ‘on the agenda’

Barcelona attack fugitive ‘dangerous, possibly armed’ warn police

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

Spanish police shoot dead man who could be Barcelona attacker

Iraqi forces close in on last IS bastion in country’s north

Kuwait arrests 13 fugitives in Iran-linked terror case

Lebanese president ratifies public sector wage rise, tax hike

Young Syrian refugees want end of war and ISIS

Lebanon army advances against IS in border battle

Spanish police say driver of Barcelona rampage van identified

Toxic politics in Italy, Libya further complicate migration problem

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers