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16 May, 2011 11:27

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Libyan leader

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Libyan leader

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor has asked judges to issue an arrest warrant for Colonel Gaddafi and two other senior regime members suspected of crimes against humanity.

The other two names on the list are those of Gaddafi’s eldest son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanousi.They all are accused of planning and conducting widespread and systematic attacks against civilians. The International Criminal Court prosecutor’s office has claimed that it received several phone calls from people close to the three, from inside the current Libyan regime, offering information to forward the prosecutions.Meanwhile, General Sir David Richards insisted that killing Gaddafi in an airstrike would be "within the rules". Richards says coalition forces should start expanding the range of infrastructure targets, meaning electricity, water supplies and power stations. Britain's military chief is also pushing for the NATO-led coalition to start bombing a broader range of targets in Libya.According to polls, seven out of ten Britons fear that Libya could turn into another Iraq. Protests are expected in London against what many believe is turning out to be disastrous intervention.

Moscow to serve as mediator for Libyan conflict

“Russia is accusing the NATO-led coalition of overstretching the UN Security Council resolution on Libya and is calling for an immediate end to the bloodshed and for a settlement process to begin.”“We reiterate our stance that the UN Security Council's resolutions should be carried out strictly, according to the mandates, and that overstepping these as we see now, should stop," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Monday.Russia says it is ready for dialogue with both sides of the Libyan conflict to help resolve the crisis and end the violence.Sergey Lavrov said officials from Tripoli and rebel representatives from Benghazi will come to Moscow.“We were asked to have a meeting in Moscow by officials in Tripoli and by representatives of the rebels in Benghazi. Russia is ready to maintain dialogue with anyone,” Lavrov said on Monday in Moscow, at a meeting with UN special envoy to Libya Abdelilah al-Khatib.  “Moscow is very interested in the quickest end to the bloodshed in Libya and switching to political negotiations,” Russia’s foreign minister continued. “We support the African Union initiatives aimed at a cease-fire and beginning dialogue in reaching a national reconciliation in the interests of the entire Libyan people, in the interests of Libya's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”Lavrov said envoys from Tripoli will come to Moscow on Tuesday. Envoys from Benghazi are expected on Wednesday, but they have reportedly asked to postpone the visit due to technical reasons.

Independent journalist James Corbett says Monday’s precedent is of a much bigger scope than the situation in Libya and will have fallout for the entire international jurisprudence.“The ludicrous nature of the entire operation is exposed and unmasked for all to see. Here is a humanitarian intervention that is now literarily going to be bombing infrastructure for the Libyan people… It makes no sense unless it’s understood that it’s simply an attempted regime change. It is now supposedly justified by this very troubling precedent of the ICC being able to dictate what happens within the boundaries of a sovereign country,” he told RT.

British investigative journalist Tony Gosling believes that the UK and NATO are committing a war crime by pushing the situation way beyond what was agreed on by the UN Security Council. And while the rest of the world is calling for a cease-fire, the military alliance is pursuing other goals.“NATO starts off with this sort of pretense that they want to have a short, sharp war, and what happens – it turns into a long, protracted war,” Gosling told RT. “And who [benefits from] this?” he declared. “The military-industrial complex, these massive military companies supplying all this weaponry to NATO. I don’t think the NATO side would like to make this thing short – they would like a long, protracted conflict… And Gaddafi himself is not that bad as the things we’re seeing from NATO right now.”

Former US diplomat George Kenney says indicting Gaddafi would render any peace talks impossible.“Having an indictment in the International Criminal Court means that it is more difficult to have negotiations, and if Gaddafi were ever taken out of the picture, it would be more difficult still to have negotiations between the people in Benghazi and the people in Tripoli,” Kenney said.The former diplomat also suggested that the legal move against the Libyan leader was not only about human rights.“As a diplomat, I would say that it is not an accident that the prosecutor is seeking an indictment, because that would make the path for the military action easier,” Kenney declared. “It is not about justice, it is about the political program we have…. I think that the indictment mainly serves to make Western leaders feel like they have accomplished something, more than it does for the end of the fighting.”