Qadhafi being investigated for crimes against humanity

Libyan migrants

Libyan migrants

Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi is being investigated for alleged crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The announcement was made Thursday. The case was referred to the judicial body by the UN Security Council after reports of a deadly crackdown on anti-government protestors by Libyan authorities. Julie Walker reports.

Walker: Libyan Leader Muammar Qadhafi, his sons and top lieutenants are being put on notice by the Iinternational Crinimal Court that if they’ve committed crimes against humanity, there will be consequences. Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo made the announcement at the Hague.

Moreno-Ocampo: We have a mandate to do justice and we will do it. There will be no impunity in Libya.

Walker: The UN estimates that more than 1000 people have died in violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and those loyal to Qadhafi. Moreno-Ocampo says “no impunity” extends to anyone who may have ordered Libyan troops or others to use violence against peaceful protesters.

Moreno-Ocampo: “They are minister of foreign affairs, the head of the regime security and intelligence, the head of Gadhafi personal security and the head of Libyan external security. So we would like to use this opportunity to put them on notice. If forces under their command commit criminal acts, they could be responsible.”

Walker: He also warned the same goes for the opposition.

Moreno-Ocampo: “We will be impartial. we had information that Libyan opposition groups were armed. ‘If they commit crimes, they will also be prosecuted.,”

Walker: During the news conference Moreno-Ocampo used a map to show the locations where alleged crimes may have been committed starting with a february 15th incident when anti-government demonstrations stepped up their efforts to force Qadhafi out.

Moreno-Ocampo: “What we have to define now is are tehre crimes against humanity. The threshold is low, that’s why I will say yes, it’s clear for us there are crimes against humanity and that’s why we have to investigate.”

Walker: Moreno-Ocampo says his investigation should take a few months and Qadhafi will have an opportunity to present his side. After that any evidence found of crimes against humanity will be given to the ICC judges, who will decide who if anyone should be prosecuted and issue arrest warrants. This is only the second time the Hague has investigated a leader while they’re in power, the first being Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir who was indicted for genocide in Darfur. He rejected the charges and has refused to surrender. Qadhafi maintains he has done nothing wrong and has vowed to die on Libyan soil.  Julie Walker, United Nations.

duration: 2’42″

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