Killing of Libyan civilians 'pre-determined': prosecutor
The killing of civilians in Libya followed a "pre-determined plan" prepared by strongman Moamer Kadhafi's regime before the latest upheaval started, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said.
"We have good evidence that shows that the killing of civilians was a pre-determined plan," Luis Moreno-Ocampo told AFP on Tuesday.
"In January, after the revolts in Tunisia, they started to prepare to face problems in Libya, they organised themselves," he said.
The Libyan unrest started in mid-February, two months after the beginning of protests in western neighbour Tunisia that led to the ouster of president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on January 14.
Moreno-Ocampo announced on March 3 that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was investigating Kadhafi, three of his sons and other members of his regime for crimes against humanity.
He later said that a request for an arrest warrant would be made a few weeks after the UN Security Council has been informed of his findings on May 4.
Moreno announced on February 28 a preliminary probe of possible crimes against humanity committed in Libya, after a referral by the United Nations.
"The office is currently assessing allegations of widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population," he had told journalists in The Hague at the time.
The UN Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the ICC two days earlier, saying "the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place (in Libya) against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity".
© 2011 AFP