International Criminal Court Issues Warrant For Putin Over Ukraine

THE HAGUE (AP) — The International Criminal Court mentioned Friday it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for conflict crimes due to his alleged involvement in abductions of kids from Ukraine.

The courtroom mentioned in a press release that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

It additionally issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights within the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on related allegations.

The courtroom’s president, Piotr Hofmanski, mentioned in a video assertion that whereas the ICC’s judges have issued the warrants, will probably be as much as the worldwide neighborhood to implement them. The courtroom has no police power of its personal to implement warrants.

“The ICC is doing its part of work as a court of law,” he mentioned. “The judges issued arrest warrants. The execution depends on international cooperation.”

A potential trial of any Russians on the ICC stays a good distance off, as Moscow doesn’t acknowledge the courtroom’s jurisdiction— a place reaffirmed on Friday by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a primary response to the warrants.

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” she mentioned.

The ICC mentioned that its pre-trial chamber discovered there have been “reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children.”

The courtroom assertion mentioned that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the kid abductions “for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (and) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.

After his most recent visit, in early March, ICC prosecutor Khan said he visited a care home for children two kilometers from frontlines in southern Ukraine.

“The drawings pinned on the wall … spoke to a context of love and support that was once there. But this home was empty, a result of alleged deportation of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation or their unlawful transfer to other parts of the temporarily occupied territories,” he mentioned in a press release. “As I noted to the United Nations Security Council last September, these alleged acts are being investigated by my Office as a priority. Children cannot be treated as the spoils of war.”

And whereas Russia rejected the allegations and warrants of the courtroom as null and void, others mentioned the ICC motion could have an vital affect.

Prof. David Crane, who indicted Liberian President Charles Taylor 20 years in the past for crimes in Sierra Leone, mentioned dictators and tyrants world wide “are now on notice that those who commit international crimes will be held accountable to include heads of state.”

Taylor was ultimately detained and placed on trial at a particular courtroom within the Netherlands. He was convicted and sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment.

“This is an important day for justice and for the citizens of Ukraine,” Crane mentioned in a written remark to the Associated Press Friday.

On Thursday, a U.N.-backed inquiry cited Russian assaults towards civilians in Ukraine, together with systematic torture and killing in occupied areas, amongst potential points that quantity to conflict crimes and presumably crimes towards humanity.

The sweeping investigation additionally discovered crimes dedicated towards Ukrainians on Russian territory, together with deported Ukrainian kids who have been prevented from reuniting with their households, a “filtration” system geared toward singling out Ukrainians for detention, and torture and inhumane detention situations.

But on Friday, the ICC put the face of Putin on the kid abduction allegations.

Casert reported from Brussels.