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-Turkey relations continue to build upon strong alliance

Turkey, Syria Kurds reach agreement to stop fighting

UN aid going to Assad-linked companies

Italy rescues some 6,500 migrants off Libya

Rising water pollution puts millions of lives at risk

Sweden jails Syrian refugee for setting fire to hostel

Turkey arrests editor from top daily in post-coup crackdown

Qaeda-linked group claims deadly ambush in Western Tunisia

France criticizes Turkey’s intervention in Syria

Turkey risks getting bogged down in Syria's war

Shabaab suicide car bomb targets Somalia hotel

US drone strike kills Qaeda suspect in Yemen

Libya says last chemical weapons stocks shipped out

World Vision calls for transparent trial in 'Hamas aid' case

Iran to cover infertility treatments

Top UN official calls for response to South Sudan refugee crisis

Obama to meet Erdogan on Syria over weekend

Libyan forces corner IS fighters in last Sirte holdouts

Tunisia's new unity government takes office

3 Saudi children killed in Yemen cross-border shelling

18 killed in suicide attack in Iraq oasis town

60 killed in suicide bomb attack on Yemen army camp

Turkey's bombings kill civilians in northern Syria

Iran arrests 'nuclear spy'

Egypt frees renowned rights lawyer, Malek Adly

In Saudi city of Najran, Huthis commit war crimes with indiscriminate rockets

Libya forces launch ‘final battle for Sirte’

Dozens killed as Turkey ramps up unprecedented offensive in Syria

Iraq officially asks Saudi Arabia to change ambassador

Yemen government cautiously welcomes US peace plan

Yemen shelling kills three-year-old boy in Saudi border region

Turkey sends more tanks into Syria to bolster military offensive

Turkey arrests former top diplomats over failed coup

Tunisia swears in new premier after approval from parliament

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in occupied West Bank

11 Turkish police officers killed in Cizre bomb attack claimed by PKK

French court suspends burkini ban

Tears as evacuation starts in Syria's Daraya

Turkey PM denies Syria operation singling out Kurds

Kerry, Lavrov meet for talks on Syria

Tunisia parliament to vote on cabinet proposal

Kuwait arrests govt employee promoting IS online

Turkey shells Kurdish fighters in Syria after warning

Oil prices fall on Saudi doubt on output cut

Jeddah meeting bears no fruit on Yemen conflict