ICC prosecutor meets Libyan rebel chief

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The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor met Libyan rebel leader Mahmud Jibril here Wednesday, his office said, two days after judges issued an arrest warrant for Moamer Kadhafi.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo "used the opportunity to reiterate the responsibility of Libyan authorities in implementing ... the arrest warrants issued" for the Libyan leader, his son Seif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, a statement said.

He told Jibril, the top foreign affairs official of the rebels' National Transitional Council, that the next step in the investigation "will concern the allegations of war crimes that might have been committed by the parties to the conflict, of attacks against sub-Saharian Africans wrongly perceived as mercenaries and of mass rapes".

Jibril reiterated the council's position that "Libya should take the lead in anything related to Libya and on Libyan soil," the statement said.

"The ICC prosecutor and Mr Jibril agreed on the need to put an end to the impunity of the most responsible perpetrators of the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya, regardless of their position or political camp."

The ICC issued the warrants on Monday for alleged atrocities committed as the government clamped down on a bloody uprising that began in mid-February.

Moreno-Ocampo sought the warrants as thousands died in fighting and an estimated 650,000 people fled the country with Kadhafi clinging to power despite NATO strikes easing the siege of key rebel cities.

Tripoli rejected the warrants as a "cover for NATO which is still trying to assassinate Kadhafi".

© 2011 AFP

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