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.

 

Merkel heads to Turkey to press for tighter border controls

Algeria parliament adopts Bouteflika’s constitutional reforms

Saudi intercepts Scud missile from Yemen

UAE ready to send ground troops to Syria

Iran carmaker reveals 427 million euros in Peugeot perks

Syria rebels withdraw from three Aleppo villages

Turkey promises to let in Syria refugees 'if necessary'

Hamas armed branch executes one of its own members

Syria army advances towards rebel town of Tal Rifaat

Netherlands probes civilian casualties in Iraq air strikes

Erdogan asks Americans: Who’s your partner, Turkey or Kurds?

Tunisia completes construction of Libya border fence

Algeria parliament to vote on constitutional reforms

Egypt returns body of Italian student Giulio Regeni

Iran reverses mass ban on candidates for parliamentary polls

Thousands of Syria refugees brave bad weather at border with Turkey

New photos reveal serious abuse of Iraq prisoners in US facilities

EU reminds Turkey: Keep your border open to Syria refugees

Somalia recaptures key port of Merka from Shebab

Iran warns Saudi Arabia over possible ground action in Syria

Palestinian journalist to keep up hunger strike

Iraq’s Sistani to end weekly political sermons

Shebab fighters recapture key port in Somalia

Syria regime forces close in on Daraa

Israeli leaders slam Arab MPs, refuse to return Palestinian corpses

IS jihadists rise in Libya, drop in Iraq and Syria

World powers pledge $10 billion to help war-hit Syrians

Morocco king inaugurates first solar power plant

Saudi ready to send ground troops to Syria

Israel charges cop for exposing woman's ID

Russia accuses Turkey of preparing to invade Syria

Syria talks were an inevitable failure

Saudi says Iranian pilgrims still welcome

Italy demands truth from Egypt over slain student

Fear stalks Libya's Sirte

US adds $890 million to Syria humanitarian aid effort

Tunisia lifts nationwide curfew

Two Israelis jailed for burning Palestinian teen alive

Sweden expects 100,000 asylum seekers in 2016

Turkey refuses access to Russian flight as Aleppo bombardment continues

40,000 Syrians flee Assad regime's Aleppo offensive

US implicitly blames Russia for collapse of Syria peace talks

Rome summons Egypt’s ambassador over student’s death

Israeli forces lock down West Bank town

Two Algerians 'linked to IS' arrested in Germany