Britain backs Kadhafi arrest warrant

16th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed news Monday that Moamer Kadhafi and two Libyan regime figures faced arrest for war crimes, saying crimes against civilians would not go unpunished.

He called on the international community to "fully support" the UN war crimes court after its chief prosecutor requested warrants against Kadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and his intelligence head for crimes against humanity.

"I welcome this announcement. The human rights situation in western Libya and the behaviour of the Kadhafi regime remains of grave concern and the UK was at the forefront of efforts in the UN to adopt resolution 1970 which referred the situation in Libya to the ICC," Hague said in a statement.

"The request for these warrants is a reminder to all in Kadhafi's regime that crimes will not go unpunished and the reach of international justice will be long. Those responsible for attacks on civilians must be held to account.

"The international community must fully support the ICC in thoroughly investigating all allegations."

A panel of ICC judges will now have to decide whether to accept or reject the prosecutor's application, based on his case file.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is also investigating four other senior Libyan officials, including Libya's former top diplomat Mussa Kussa, who arrived unexpectedly in Britain in March and announced he was resigning.

Britain's foreign ministry said it had not offered Mussa any immunity and he is free to come and go.

© 2011 AFP

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