Wednesday, May 22, 2024

ICC denounces Russian arrest warrant for its prosecutor

The International Criminal Court (ICC) leadership expressed deep concern over the arrest warrant issued by Moscow for one of the court's prosecutors this week.

In a statement Saturday, the ICC called Russia’s actions against prosecutor Karim Khan, “acts of intimidation and unacceptable attempts to undermine the mandate of the International Criminal Court to investigate, sanction and prevent the commission of the gravest international crimes.”

The court’s oversight and legislative body, the Presidency of the Assembly of State Parties, “stands firmly by the International Criminal Court, its elected officials, and its personnel,” the statement reads.

“We reiterate our full confidence in the ICC as an independent and impartial court of law,” the statement added.

The ICC said in a separate statement Saturday that it is “aware and profoundly concerned about unwarranted and unjustified coercive measures reportedly taken against ICC officials, notably the Prosecutor of the Court and the judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II by the authorities of the Russian Federation.”

In March, the ICC — whose jurisdiction is not recognized by Russia — issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and another Moscow official, Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging they were involved in the deportation and “reeducation” of Ukrainian children in Russia.

Later in March, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the ICC judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Aytala, and Sergio Godinez, as well as Khan.

On Friday, Russian state news agency TASS reported that Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs had issued an arrest warrant for Khan.

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