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News, June 2011
Libyan Regime Rejects International Arrest Warrant for Gaddafi
By Olivia SALAZAR WINSPEAR (video)
News Wires (text)
Date created : 27/06/2011
Libyan justice minister said Monday that Tripoli dismissed the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for the country's leader Muammar Gaddafi, because he holds no "official position in the Libyan government."
Libya dismissed a move by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday, rejecting the authority of the tribunal.
“Libya ... does not accept the decisions of the ICC which is a tool of the Western world to prosecute leaders in the Third World,” Justice Minister Mohammed al-Qamoodi told a news conference in Tripoli.
ICC will seek arrest warrants
AP - The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says he will seek arrest warrants on Monday for three senior Libyan leaders for murder and persecution.
Luis Moreno Ocampo has not released the names of the suspects, but Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is expected to be among them.
In a statement Friday, prosecutors said Libyan security forces ``conducted widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population.''
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Feb. 26 to refer the Libyan crisis to the International Criminal Court and Moreno Ocampo launched a formal investigation days later.
“The leader of the revolution and his son do not hold any official position in the Libyan government and therefore they have no connection to the claims of the ICC against them,” Qamoodi added.
Gaddafi holds no formal office in Libya’s political system despite having ruled for more than 41 years.
The Hague-based court approved warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity. Prosecutors allege they were involved in the killing of civilian protesters who rose up in February against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
Presiding judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng said Gaddafi and his son were accused of having “conceived and orchestrated a plan to deter and quell by all means the civilian demonstrations” against the regime. Senussi was accused of having attacks carried out.
While the ruling is unlikely to lead to Gaddafi’s arrest as long he remains in power and inside Libya, it was welcomed by the Libyan rebels and their NATO backers as a sign that Gaddafi had no legitimacy to rule.
Latest update: 27/06/2011
ICC issues arrest warrant for Gaddafi, intelligence chief
The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his intelligence chief for crimes against humanity committed against opponents of his regime.
Nations that adhere to the International Criminal Court's founding Rome Statute must act on a new arrest warrant against Libya's Moamer Kadhafi, the president of the treaty's Assembly of State Parties said Monday.
"It is the unequivocal duty of all State Parties as well as of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to execute these warrants of arrest," said Christian Wenaweser, head of the assembly that oversees the international war crimes court.
Judges on Monday issued three arrest warrants for the Libyan strongman, his son Seif al-Islam, Kadhafi's "de facto" prime minister, and head of Libyan intelligence Abdullah al-Senussi. The warrants were requested by the court's prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on May 16.
"The court cannot complete its mandate without the full support and co-operation from states," Wenaweser told journalists at a press conference.
In existence since 2002, the ICC does not have a police force to carry out arrests and is dependent on states' goodwill to carry out its arrest warrants.
Wenaweser welcomed the judges' decision saying the court worked "quickly and efficiently" delivering its decision less than three-and-a-half months since the situation was referred by the UN Security Council.
The ICC's jurisdiction comes from a 26 February referral by the Security Council, but Libyan authorities then said they were "not concerned" by the court's investigation because Libya was not a state party to the Rome Statute.
Gaddafi agrees to stay out of peace talks
AU says As fighting continues between rebels and forces loyal to the regime, African Union leaders have welcomed Muammar Gaddafi’s decision to stay out of negotiations to end the four-month-long conflict.
By News Wires (text)
Date created : 26/06/2011
African leaders welcomed Sunday Moamer Kadhafi's decision to stay out of negotiations to end Libya's four-month conflict, as battles raged between the regime and rebels near Tripoli.
Multiple rocket and heavy machine gunfire was heard on the plains below the rebel enclave in the Nafusa Mountains, southwest of Tripoli. Rebel commanders said the fighting centered on Bir al-Ghanam, a strategic point on the road to the Libyan capital.
Meanwhile, the African Union panel on Libya said after four hours of talks in the South African capital Pretoria that Kadhafi would not participate in peace talks, in what appeared to be a concession.
The panel "welcomes Colonel Kadhafi's acceptance of not being part of the negotiations process," AU peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said, reading out the communiqué without elaborating.
Rumours have been rife in recent days that the Libyan leader may consider leaving Tripoli and that rebels could accept his internal exile to a remote location.
But Kadhafi's government spokesman said Sunday he has no intention of leaving power or Libya.
"Kadhafi is here. He is staying. He is leading the country. He will not leave. He will not step down because he does not have any official position," Mussa Ibrahim said.
"We will not give in to some criminal gangs who took our cities hostage. We will not give in to the criminal organisation of NATO. Every one continues to fight. We are ready to fight street to street, house to house," he added.
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), said on Saturday intermediaries had indicated that a proposal from Kadhafi was in the works, offering a faint glimmer of hope for a deal to end the bloodshed.
"We expect to get an offer very soon; he is unable to breathe," said Ghoga.
"We want to preserve life, so we want to end the war as soon as possible," he added. "We have always left him some room for an exit."
It was not immediately clear if the AU announcement was the awaited offer. The rest of the AU panel's communique reiterated the group's call for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations toward a democratic solution.
The communique was far softer than South African President Jacob Zuma's opening remarks, when he again warned NATO against overstepping the mandate of the UN resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.
"The intention was not to authorise a campaign for regime change or political assassination," he said behind closed doors, according to a text of the speech.
Zuma urged both Kadhafi and the rebel NTC to make compromises to reach a deal in the face of a conflict that was degenerating into a protracted and bloody deadlock.
"On the ground, there is a military stalemate which cannot and must not be allowed to drag on and on -- both because of its horrendous cost in civilian lives and the potential it has to destabilise the entire sub-region," he said.
The AU has been leading mediation efforts in Libya with the blessing of other key players including Russia.
Kadhafi is a long-time backer of the AU and a forceful advocate for stronger continental integration. He held the pan-African body's rotating chair in 2009 and has twice held talks with members of the panel.
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