After months of ongoing battles throughout the cities of Libya, the International Criminal Court may finally be putting a stop to Moammar Gadhafi’s 42 year-long rule.
The ICC had a long discussion over the weekend in The Hague, Netherlands, where chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo called for arrest warrants against Gadhafi and his brother-in-law, Abdullah Al-Sanussi, for crimes against humanity.
Libya’s government has kept Gadhafi under absolute control over his people, making it a crime to challenge his authority. Moreno-Ocampo argues, however, that Gadhafi has used his control to execute crimes over the citizens of Libya, and therefore “must be arrested…due to the way he is ruling the country.”
Moreno-Ocampo described various factual evidence of Gadhafi’s crimes, including attacks on “the homes of innocent civilians, demonstrations being repressed using live ammunition, heavy artillery used against participants in funeral proceedings, and snipers placed to kill people leaving mosques after prayers.” Gadhafi’s brother-in-law, Al-Sanussi, is also the head of intellegence and chief enforcer, and therefore took part in the execution of many of the Libyan rebels as well.
Out of the 114 countries who signed the ICC treaty into creation, Libya was not one of them. Since the Libyan government is not a part of the Rome Statute, Gadhafi has chosen to acknowledge any charges made against Libya through the ICC.
However, Moreno-Ocampo has gathered information from 11 countries, 1,200 documents and interviews from 50 different witnesses to provide evidence for a panel of judges who will then decide on the arrest warrants for Gadhafi and Al-Sanussi.
After being the chief prosecutor of the ICC for ten years, Moreno-Ocampo believes that Libya’s authoritative control must be stopped for its intrusive and deadly attempts at controlling the Libyan people. The judges however, may take several weeks or even months to come up with a final decision.
In an earlier report, Moreno-Ocampo wrote: “Arresting those who ordered the commission of crimes, should the judges decide to issue warrants, will contribute to the protection of citizens in Libya.”