Arrest warrant sought for Gadhafi

Sept. 8, 2011 at 4:43 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is asking for the arrest of fugitive Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the court said.

At The Hague in the Netherlands, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked Interpol to issue a Red Notice to arrest Gadhafi for the alleged crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution.

"Arresting Gadhafi is matter of time," Moreno-Ocampo said.

An Interpol Red Notice seeks the provisional arrest of a wanted person so a suspect can be extradited or surrender to an international court based on an arrest warrant or court decision. The prosecutor is also requesting Red Notices for the arrest of two of Gadhafi's sons.

Meanwhile, conflicting reports had Gadhafi cornered in the Sahara and aboard a convoy headed for neighboring Niger.

Anis Sharif, a spokesman for the leader of one of the biggest rebel militias, said a number of rebel units had converged on an area in the desert where they confirmed the presence of the fugitive Libyan leader, The New York Times reported.

"We are waiting for the right moment to move in, and in the meantime we are tracking his movements," Sharif said. "He only moves at night to avoid NATO airstrikes."

But Abdulrahman Busin, the military press liaison, said the report Gadhafi had been surrounded was a rumor and there were also unconfirmed reports he was in a convoy headed for Niger, the Times said.

Speculation Gadhafi had fled to neighboring Niger was dismissed as lies and psychological warfare in a telephone call to a pro-Gadhafi television channel in Syria, the BBC reported.

The caller identified himself as Gadhafi and said his forces would defeat NATO and Libya's National Transitional Council.

American diplomats in Africa have urged the governments of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Burkina Faso to detain Gadhafi or any of his senior aides.

In the last weeks of Gadhafi's regime documents indicate thousands of gas masks and chemical weapons protection suits were shipped to Gadhafi's remaining strongholds, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

The documents raise fresh concerns about whether the deposed Libyan leader's forces might have access to deadly mustard gas.

Gadhafi loyalists in the town of Bani Walid have been given until Saturday to lay down their arms or face military force, CNN reported.

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