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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Legal Warfare: ICC Joins NATO Axis, Insanely Unfair

May 18 2011

Andy Dilks: The “International Criminal Court”: Prosecuting Gaddafi With Questionable Evidence While Ignoring NATO-Israeli Atrocities
The International Criminal Court has requested an arrest warrant for Colonel Gaddafi and his sons for “crimes against humanity”, accusing them of ordering, planning and participating in illegal attacks on civilians. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court Prosecutor, said, “Based on the evidence collected, the prosecution has applied to pre-trial chamber one for the issuance of arrest warrants against Moammar Muhamad abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Sanoussi.”

But what is the evidence? The press release on the website of the International Criminal Court makes frequent reference to “direct evidence” but fails to cite any of this evidence in detail. In order to try and clarify the grounds for the prosecution, I emailed the ICC:

The ICC promptly responded, providing me with a document entitled, PUBLIC REDACTED Version Prosecutor’s Application Pursuant to Article 58 as to Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar GADDAFI, Saif Al‐Islam GADDAFI and Abdullah AL‐SENUSSI.

Needless to say, “redacted” is the operative word.

Sources backing up the frequent assertions in the document regarding crimes against humanity carried out by Gaddafi and his sons are notable by their absence. For example, the document states, “In the early days of the demonstrations, GADDAFI transmitted orders through his Secretariat to “discipline” civilians, by killing them and destroying their property, who had openly rebelled against the regime. Further, AL‐SENUSSI, upon GADDAFI’s instructions, directed and coordinated the operation of the Security Forces in Benghazi and expressly ordered the shooting at civilians. Demonstrators were attacked by members of the Security Forces who opened machine gun fire on them in different areas of the city, such as the Juliyana bridge and Jamal Abdun Naser Street.” The sources for these alleged transmissions and subsequent attacks are not provided. Further, the report uses vague generalisations concerning the history of Libya in an attempt to bolster its case. “Direct evidence of the plan to use extreme and lethal violence is corroborated by the scale, scope and duration of the attacks; the pattern of the attacks in various cities; the speeches and statements of GADDAFI, SAIF AL‐ISLAM and AL‐SENUSSI; the history of the regime’s response to any political opposition within Libya; and the complete authority exercised by GADDAFI and his subordinates over all important security decisions.” Again, the “direct evidence” is not sourced, while appealing to a state’s prior human rights record is not proof by any measure of the current crimes of which they stand accused.

Again, the link: Prosecutor's submission for the arrest warrants. It's a PDF download, and worth a scan. Indeed, the supporting evidence section, what I'm most interested in as it's probably bunk, is entirely redacted. For "safety" reasons, to be sure. The findings themselves will give us some clues, but I'd have to read it much closer before I could add anything. It's probably just more unsubstantiated and illogical rebel reportage and defector drivel, lapped up eagerly by a corrupt system.

These arrest warrants, if issued, will ensure a longer fight. If there's no safety to guarantee from arrest, there's no negotiation and less chance than ever of turning back this insane operation. Not that NATO and its supporters have previously shown any interest in that. Only holding a country - a rump Libya or Tipolitania if nothing else - will insulate the leader's family from that, and the Gaddafis will insist on that all that harder now, as they arguably should anyway.

More later, perhaps ...

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a tug-of-war between the NTC and the ICC over Seif Al-Islam...Libya Resists International Court’s Claim on War Crimes Case David D Kirkpatrick and Marlise Simons, NYT 21 March 2012.

    One further stumbling block regarding Abdullah Senussi, who is also wanted by both and holed up in Mauretania, allegedly, is that the Libyans can't yet extradite him: Libyans leaves Mauritania, hope to extradite Senussi (Reuters)


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