ICC report supports charging Libyan forces

May 4, 2011 at 8:14 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 4 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court prosecutor said Wednesday he will request arrest warrants for three individuals for crimes against humanity committed in Libya.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who works for the court at The Hague, Netherlands, said evidence exists to charge forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi with crimes against humanity in Libya since Feb. 15, including murder, unlawful detention, torture and persecution.

Moreno-Ocampo informed the U.N. Security Council Wednesday he will request arrest warrants "in a few weeks," the court said in a release. The release did not identify the people Moreno-Ocampo plans to charge.

The Security Council referred the Libya situation to the court's prosecutor in a resolution adopted Feb. 26.

Moreno-Ocampo said evidence collected to date indicates crimes against humanity "have been and continue to be committed in Libya, attacking unarmed civilians including killings and persecutions in many cities across Libya." He said firing at peaceful protesters by security forces was systematic in the months-long battle between Gadhafi forces and protesters seeking to oust the strongman after four decades of rule, and that credible information indicates 500 to 700 people have been killed in February alone, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The prosecutor's report said the alleged crimes were committed on orders of only a few key people in the upper levels of government, raising the prospect that Gadhafi and members of his inner circle could be charged, the BBC said.

Moreno-Ocampo said information also indicated war crimes were committed once the protests degenerated into a civil war, citing examples such as attacks against non-combatants and the apparent use of cluster bombs.

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