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Can ICC warrant really secure Gaddafi arrest?

07-01-2011 20:20 BJT Special Report:Int'l Intervention in Libya |

THE HAGUE, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The issuing of arrest warrant for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and two of his family members was cheered by many desperates for signs of breaking a deadlock in the North African country but a new question arises:

Now that the warrants are out, how to actually arrest Gaddafi and by whom?

NATO forces operation in Libyan skies have no mandate to arrest suspects.

"It is not the NATO to enforce that warrant, that is for the appropriate authorities. Our mandate is to protect civilians from attacks. The decision of NATO and our ally partner to extend the mission for another 90 days is clearly a signal of that determination," NATO spokesperson Oana Lungus said.

Then the task is mainly left on the shoulders of Libyan rebels.

Earlier this week, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno Ocampo said Libya has the primary responsibility to implement the arrest warrants for Gaddafi.

He said Gaddafi's inner circle "to be part of the solution, rather than the problem," hinting that the Libyan Transitional National Council (NTC) needs to play a major role in arresting Gaddafi.

Although Libya is not a member of the ICC, the NTC has promised to cooperate with it to arrest Gaddafi and his wanted family.

Mohammed al-Alagi, minister of Justice of this temporary Libyan government told Dutch local media that the arrest warrant could lead to a discouragement of the Libyan army when they realize that fighting for their leader results in nothing.

Mohammed believed it won't be easy to arrest Gaddafi, stressing the need for cooperation between the NTC and the State Parties of the Rome Statute.

The NTC worked closely together with ICC prosecutor Ocampo during the investigation period.

The NTC said not to be afraid to investigate crimes and won't hesitate to trial criminals themselves.

Another way of arresting Gaddafi is to wait until he travels to a member state of the Rome Statute, which has the obligation to cooperate with the court and to comply with requests for arrest and surrender.

But what about the non-parties of the ICC statute? There are still plenty of destinations, such as Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and Angola.

Gaddafi could even go to the United States as they are not a member party of the ICC.

The Security Council urges these countries to cooperate with the court but it also explicitly recognises that non-parties have no obligation under the Statute.

In an apparent effort to boost confidence in bringing Gaddafi and his family to court, Moreno-Ocampo on Tuesday cited the arrest last month of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic after 15 years on the run.

"It's a matter of time. See what happened with Mladic," he said. "Gaddafi will face justice. The arrest warrants are not going away."

But Gaddafi does not seem the least impressed by the warrant and the NATO mission.

In a radio broadcast in June he said: "We are in our country and we insist on staying until death. We are staying, we are staying. Let them even use nuclear bombs. And if they come to the ground, we will wait for them, but they are cowards, they will not dare."



Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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