Posted by alejandro on 16 05 2011 | Leave a comment
Libya Press Conference
16 May 2011
Less than three months ago the UN Security Council unanimously required the intervention of our Office to conduct an impartial investigation into the crimes committed in Libya. Today, the Office presented its evidence to the judges and is requesting the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants
The evidence shows that Muammar Gaddafi, personally, ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians. His forces attacked Libyan civilians in their homes and in the public space, shot demonstrators with live ammunition, used heavy weaponry against participants in funeral processions, and placed snipers to kill those leaving mosques after the prayers.
The evidence shows that such persecution is still ongoing, as I speak today, in the areas under Gaddafi control. Gaddafi’s forces prepare lists with names of alleged dissidents. They are being arrested, put into prisons in Tripoli, tortured and made to disappear.
Most of the victims are Libyans, but the widespread and systematic attacks affect the international community as a whole. The crimes are crimes against humanity. That is why the Arab League and the African Union were concerned and the Security Council intervened. Further, the Arab people in different regions of the world are playing a key role in exposing the crimes. The fear is not paralyzing them.
Muammar Gaddafi committed the crimes with the goal of preserving his absolute authority. He has absolute authority in accordance with Libyan law. His orders are binding even for the Congress. It is a crime to challenge his authority. He used his authority to commit the crimes.
The Office gathered direct evidence about orders issued by Muammar Gaddafi himself. The evidence shows that Gaddafi relies on his inner circle to implement a systematic policy of suppressing any challenge to his authority. His second eldest son, Saif Al Islam, is acting as a de facto prime minister and Al-Sanousi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, is his right-hand man, the Head of the Military Intelligence and personally commanded some attacks. The Office documented how the three held meetings to plan and direct the operations.
Based on the evidence collected, the Prosecution has applied to Pre-Trial Chamber I for the issuance of arrests warrants against Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Sanousi.
The case is now before the judges. They can accept the request, reject it or ask for more evidence.
In the meantime, the Office of the Prosecutor will continue its investigations: we will further investigate first, the allegations of rapes committed in Libya. Second, the allegations of attacks against sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries. Third, the allegations of war crimes committed by different parties during the armed conflict that started towards the end of February.
The Office is liaising with the International Commission of Inquiry created by the UN Human Rights Council which will present its report to the Council at the beginning of June. There will be no impunity in Libya.
My Office has not requested the intervention of international forces to implement the arrest warrants. Should the Court issue them and the three individuals remain in Libya, Libyan authorities have the primary responsibility to arrest them. Libya is a member of the United Nations and it has the duty to abide by Security Council Resolution 1970. Libyans will lead.
When the time comes, implementing the arrest warrants will be the most effective way to protect civilians under attack in Libya and elsewhere. As in any other criminal case, the execution of the warrants will have a deterrent impact for other leaders who are thinking of using violence to gain or retain power.