The general prosecutor of the International Criminal Court plans to request that ICC pre-trial judges issue arrest warrants against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and his son Saif Al Islam for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Similar charges are being lodged against Libya’s head of intelligence, Abdullah Al Senussi
ICC prosecutors are currently preparing evidence and will disclose the list of all those to be indicted next week and maybe as early as Monday, May 16. It is highly unlikely that Mr. Qaddafi will accept ICC summons, let alone allow himself to be arrested.
For its part, the Libyan opposition has sent a list of names to Portugal’s Ambassador Jose Morales Cabral, head of sanctions committee against Libya in the UN. The list includes 88 Libyan officials to be included in the Security Council Resolution 1970 sanctions list.
UN Security Council Resolution 1970 passed on February 26, referred the Libyan government’s violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrators to the ICC, imposed an arms embargo on Libya, and ordered a global travel ban on Colonel Qaddafi, and members of his family and inner circle.
Resolution 1970 ordered a freeze on the assets of all these individuals.
Meanwhile, sending an ICC official letter to the Libyan regime has proved no easy task. Many Libyan ambassadors have defected and abandoned Mr. Qaddafi over the continuing crackdown against demonstrators and rebels in the country.
However the Libyan ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Al Hadi Ahmed Hudaiba, did not defect. He received the ICC letter asking the Libyan authorities to immediately arrest those who are indicted by the ICC judges.
Mr. Hudaiba hails from Al Zintan, a city that now suffers from Qaddafi forces’ bombardment, almost on a daily basis.
(Talal Al-Haj is the United nations bureau chief for Al Arabiya. Dina Al-Shibeeb can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)