ICC issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin in Ukraine war crimes probe

17 Mar 2023 | Ukraine | 19 |
ICC issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin in Ukraine war crimes probe

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

The ICC said in a statement on Friday that Putin is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of children, and that of unlawful transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia since Feb. 24, 2022 – the day Putin ordered a wide-scale invasion in the neighbouring country.

The ICC cited the charges under articles in the Rome Statute of the ICC.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others and for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility,” the court said.

#ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański on recent arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova in the context of the situation in #Ukraine
More info: https://t.co/5OMC7Xuuy5 pic.twitter.com/45bT4mHqIs

— Int'l Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) March 17, 2023

It also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the president of the Russian Federation, under the same charges.

Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its one-year invasion of its neighbour. The Kremlin did not immediately respond to the charges.

A potential trial of any Russians at the ICC is a long way off, especially as Moscow doesn’t recognize the court’s jurisdiction, and won’t extradite its nationals. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed that position earlier this week.

Ukraine is also not a member of the court, but it has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory and ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has visited four times since starting an investigation a year ago.

The ICC said that its pre-trial chamber found there were “reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children.”

On Thursday, a UN-backed inquiry cited Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions, among potential issues that amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.

The sweeping investigation also found crimes committed against Ukrainians on Russian territory, including deported Ukrainian children who were prevented from reuniting with their families, a “filtration” system aimed at singling out Ukrainians for detention, and torture and inhumane detention conditions.

— with files from The Associated Press


by Global News