ICC to move on Gaddafi 'soon'

2011-03-03 12:49
Madrid - Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague will seek arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and other suspects "as soon as possible", Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said on Thursday.

"Speed is vital" because "very serious crimes continue being committed", Moreno-Ocampo said in an interview with the Spanish daily El Pais.

Prosecutors will investigate between 10 and 15 suspects who ordered the ongoing repression and whose names will be revealed this week, the prosecutor said.

An arrest warrant creates a "serious problem" for those who are being targeted, Moreno-Ocampo explained.

"Leaders who commit crimes against humanity must know that they will not go unpunished," he said.

"We will make sure justice is done and that those responsible for the repression, for attacks against the civilian population, will be pursued and punished," he vowed.

Moreno-Ocampo was due to formally open his investigation into Gaddafi's brutal crackdown on protesters later on Thursday in The Hague. He said between 600 and "several thousand" people may have been killed in the violence.

Any request for arrest warrants would have to be endorsed by ICC judges.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing sanctions against Libya and referring the situation to the ICC, thus granting the court formal jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed by Gaddafi and his associates.

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