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ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin
Published on: Saturday, March 18, 2023
By: AFP
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ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin
Filepic by Anatoly Maltsev | AFP
THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court on Friday announced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin (pic) on the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

The Hague-based ICC said it had also issued a warrant against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on similar charges.

Moscow dismissed the orders as “void.” Russia is not a party to the ICC so it was unclear if or how Putin could ever end up in the dock.

War-battered Ukraine welcomed the ICC announcement, with President Volodymyr Zelensky hailing the “historic decision.”

The court’s shock notice came hours after other news with the potential to significantly impact Russia’s war on Ukraine, including a Moscow visit from Chinese leader Xi Jinping and more fighter jets for Kyiv’s forces.

More than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the February 24, 2022 invasion, according to Kyiv, with many allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP that Putin was now liable for arrest if he set foot in any of the court’s more than 120 member states.

He said the arrest warrants were “based upon forensic evidence, scrutiny and what’s been said by those two individuals”.

“The evidence we presented focused on crimes against children. Children are the most vulnerable part of our society,“ said Khan.

The ICC said judges found there were “reasonable grounds” to suspect Putin’s criminal responsibility and grant Khan’s application for the warrants, which were made back on February 22.

ICC President Piotr Hofmanski said the execution of the warrants “depends on international cooperation”.

 





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