LONDON, July 26 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court threw water on British and French diplomats' hints that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi could cede power and remain in Libya.
The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, said a new government would be obligated to arrest Gadhafi under ICC warrants, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking Monday in London with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, said whether Gadhafi remained in Libya ultimately must be addressed by the Libyan people, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
"It is for the Libyan people to determine their own future," Hague said. "Whatever happens, Gadhafi must leave power. He must never again be able to threaten the lives of Libyan civilians, nor to destabilize Libya once he has left power."
However, the ICC said Gadhafi can't be allowed to escape justice.
"He has to be arrested," said Florence Olara, a spokeswoman for ICC lead prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
Olara said the decision to seek justice had been made in the United Nations, noting that the ICC's arrest warrants were "legal facts" that "cannot go away."
"Any negotiation or deal has to respect [U.N. Security Council resolution] 1970 and the ICC's decision," Olara told The Guardian.
The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants June 27 for Gadhafi and his son Saif, charging that they committed crimes against humanity during anti-regime protests. The court also issued a warrant for the Libyan intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, Gadhafi's brother-in-law.