ICC to investigate NATO, NTC forces for Libya war crimes

All war crimes allegations against NATO, National Transitional Council (NTC), and pro-Qaddafi forces committed during the recent conflict will be investigated “impartially and independently” according to a statement (PDF) by the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo. In his statement to the UN Security Council, Ocampo gave an update on the events in Libya regarding the ICC investigation. According to the statement, after obtaining the required documents confirming Moammar Qaddafi’s death, the case against him (PDF) will likely be dropped. The statement continued by detailing the cases against Saif al-Islam Qaddafi (PDF), Moammar Qaddafi’s son, and Abdullah al-Senussi (PDF), Libya’s head of intelligence, and what is being done to secure their capture.

Ocampo went on to discuss a jurisdictional issue involved in the case, saying:

The Office was informed that the new Libyan authorities are in the process of preparing a comprehensive strategy to address crimes, including the circumstances surrounding the death of Muammar Gaddafi. In accordance with the Rome Statute the International Criminal Court should not intervene if there are genuine national proceedings. Should the Libyan authorities decide to prosecute Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al Sanussi for the same crimes under investigation by the International Criminal Court, they should submit an admissibility challenge and it will be for the ICC Judges to decide.

This admissibility challenge would be need to be filed under Article 18 Section 7 of the Rome Statute. He concluded by saying his office will be prepared to issue a full report on the allegations in May of 2012.

Ocampo’s statement comes as the Qaddafi family has filed a war crimes complaint against NATO with the ICC. The ICC is continuing to pursue Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi on arrest warrants filed in June of this year. The ICC claims Saif al-Islam was acting as Qaddafi’s “de facto Prime Minister” and calles al-Sanussi Gaddafi’s “right-hand man” and “executioner.”

From Jurist, Nov. 3. Used with permission.

See our last posts on Libya and the revolutions in North Africa.

  1. HRW urges Tunisia not to extradite former Libya PM
    Human Rights Watch in a statement Nov. 9 urged the Tunisian government not to extradite former Libyan prime minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, warning that he would be “at a real risk for torture” if he is returned to Libya. (Jurist, Nov. 11)

    International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo meanwhile said that new charges may be warranted against those close to Moammar Qaddafi. According to Ocampo, an investigation into the use of rape by Qaddafi forces is nearly finished, and the results of this investigation may be used to file additional charges against former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, among others. It has been alleged that al-Senussi was involved in the ordering and organizing of mass rapes. (Jurist, Nov. 9)