Libya attacks could be crime against humanity: court

By Reuters
Monday, February 28, 2011 8:59 EDT
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THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor said on Monday military attacks against civilians in Libya could be a crime against humanity and warrant the launch of a full investigation within days.

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday imposed sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family, and referred Libya’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrators to the International Criminal Court.

“We have to decide whether to open an investigation … and I hope we can move very fast. Within a few days,” ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters in his offices in The Hague.

He said anyone who attacked civilians would be investigated and prosecuted and that military commanders could be held accountable for the actions of their troops.

“If people were on the square and they were attacked by soldiers, tanks or airplanes, in a widespread and systematic way, it’s a crime against humanity,” he said.

Moreno-Ocampo said an investigation team had been put together in The Hague to collect information and his office was in contact with Libyan officials and army staff to understand command structures and how the Libyan military system worked.

The office of the prosecutor was also liaising with an African Union investigation team and the Arab League with the aim to move as swiftly as possible, Moreno-Ocampo said.

When the office of the prosecutor receives a Security Council referral, the statute requires that prosecutors first carry out a preliminary examination to see whether there is reasonable basis to proceed with a full investigation.

This is only the second ICC probe to be triggered by a U.N Security Council referral.

When the Security Council referred the Darfur crisis in Sudan to the ICC on March 31, 2005, it took two months for the prosecutor to open an investigation.

Should an investigation be launched, prosecutors may ask an ICC pre-trial chamber to deliver arrest warrants or summonses for those deemed most responsible for the alleged crimes.

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  • Johnny Warbucks

    Well, giddy up! Over 3,000 dismembered bodies of civilians throughout Libya await for justice to be done.

    Oh, and while you’re it, can you also take a look at Bush and Cheney too? They committed much more heinous crimes against humanity, over a longer period of time and on a much larger scale. The people of conscience of the world would greatly appreciate it.

  • Anonymous

    Like the US has any influence on this kind of crime with our record of torture and bombing of civilians. We sure screwed ourselves into the ground by our neocon behaviors and worse yet, Obama continues the practices.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U4CB4JMBKUBO6NL2RNREZDZUEA Freeky_Fried_Chicken

    But our unmanned drones slaughtering innocent families have the red, white & blue seal of approval.

    If a drone pilot in Nevada develops carpal tunnel- can he get a purple heart?

  • Anonymous

    What kind of justice is this; holding Libya for War crimes but ignoring the invasion and occupation and over a million dead in Iraq by England and the United States!

    They must ALL be WAR CRIMINALS!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7Y77MFIPRIRTA6LYW5YJYKUHXY shinydoug

    Umm, isn’t there a certain war of aggression that the ICC has omitted investigating? One in Mesopotamia starting about 2003? What made Libya cut in line there?

  • YeaSayer

    “African mercenaries hired by the Gaddafi regime to kill Libyan protesters would be immune from prosecution for war crimes due to a clause in this weekend’s UN resolution that was demanded by the United States.” Link

  • Anonymous

    The ICC needs to investigate ___.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    This is because they are ALL in on it! The biggest hypocrites all band together. Ever notice how when lead country America and Ally numero uno, in the ME along with the UNSC aka “Sanction City Headquarters”, EU democratic nations and some smaller countries eager to be their ” puppets”, all work as a team, on the same platform of collective agreement.

    If they all commit the same atrocities, that they accuse the targeted country, as aiding and abetting criminal misbehavior as in, torture, or human rights violations, it´s over looked as..collateral damage, and end of story . Who among them will come out and attempt to challenge the U.S. and it´s blood brother allies?

    Which “Pot will call the Great Kettle black”? None of these countries, you can bet on that. Forget the Spanish (Spain) rant, it went nowhere.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5Z4JRNXBCO4ZYSUY3WGC3S554I nathan

    could be crimes against humanity? mother fucker if 1 american citizen was killed it would automatically be a crime against humanity. but since it’s another country they are somehow lesser? COULD BE A CRIME?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6EX2KJ7LSZMDCBZWCH62Q7CABY Sandra

    Sounds as if the US hired the mercenaries then passed resolutions to protect them. Same thing going on with Agent Davis in Pakistan and Agent Headley in India. they got CIA to hire and train “mercenaries” then blame terrorists or an enemy regime.

  • Anonymous

    the US commits massive crimes against humanity endlessly and daily… when will the trials begin?

    and when the rebellion starts here… will be far, far more killed than in libya.

  • Anonymous

    continued daily by obamabush… as i have to info… obama re-authorized the bush CIA rendition program of globally outsourced torture chambers on february 1, 2009. if and when the war crimes trialas start… all the judges who ‘justified and legitmized’ the wars and tortures; all legislators who voted for them; all the executive branch involved and every one in the chain of command must go on trial…

    hey, that’s the better way to shut the govt down, eh? throw out all the stinking trash.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Hear, hear! Nothing I’d like more. Walking them all, each and every single one of them, down the plank would be the best gift ever for humanity.

  • Anonymous

    you’n'me guy. pirate plank headlong into disaster planet as capt beefheart

  • Dirk

    ICC = milquetoasts.