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Russia is scoffing, but Putin may be tried for war crimes in the ICC, ICC chief prosecutor says

A chief of prosecution at the International Criminal Court is convinced Russian president Vladimir Putin could stand trial for alleged violations committed during Russia’s war with Ukraine the country, he said to CNN the previous day, defying Moscow’s assertions that it’s not bound by the court’s rulings.

An interview on CNN’s Clarissa Ward, the Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan referred to the historic cases that included Nazi war criminals as well as the former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic, as well as the former Liberian president Charles Taylor, among others.

“All they were powerful strong individuals, yet, they were in the courtrooms,” he said.

The ICC issued warrants of arrest on Friday for Putin as well as Russian official Maria Vvova-Belova over an alleged plan for deportation of Ukrainian youngsters to Russia which in which the Russian government has claimed is helping them but denies that deportations are forced.

The decision has already been a landmark in history, it making Putin one of the heads of state from an permanent participant in the United Nations Security Council to receive the warrant for arrest, Khan stated.

The ICC was created to investigate the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity as well as crimes of aggression and war crimes and war crimes, the ICC is referred to for being the globe’s “court of last option.” Although 123 countries are members of the treaty which established the court however, there are some notable exclusions, including Russia and it’s the United States, Ukraine, and China. Russia has withdrawn from the ICC convention following an order signed by Putin in the year 2016.

The Kremlin on Friday rejected warrants for arrest in the form of “unacceptable,” arguing that they do not fall under the decisions of the International Criminal Court.

“Russia like a lot of other states, doesn’t recognize the authority of this court therefore any decisions like this are void and null and void to those of the Russian Federation from the point of of law,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov tweeted on Friday.

However, Khan declared that it didn’t have any significance. “Article 27 in the Rome Statute makes it very evident that the official identity of an individual is not relevant to the court’s jurisdiction. The judges who are independent of the court also considered it suitable” for the warrant to be issued, he explained.

The court is not able to have trials in absentia, which means Russian officials who are charged with a crime would have to be surrendered by Moscow or detained in other countries than Russia. However, ICC judges may still allow confirmation hearings, where judges evaluate the evidence prior to the trial starts – to continue without the need for them, Khan said.

The chief prosecutor has also acknowledged the speed at the speed at which he’s brought charges against Russia’s conduct in Ukraine which is notable for the fact that the court is often criticised for its bureaucracy.

“I believe this ICC has been slow in a few ways and we have to move faster,” Khan said.

He explained that he had been in Bangladesh to investigate the crimes that were committed against Rohingya in February. He was convinced that the Ukrainian case was too important to wait.

“From the information received from various sources, we needed to move on. … As soon as I returned to The Hague on February 28th, I made it clear that I wanted for an investigation. In addition, I invited state governments to submit the issue to my office since it would speed up the process to proceed and begin an investigation.”

Referrals came flooding in. “Within 48 hours 39 state parties have were able to refer to the Ukraine matter to the office of my. There are currently 43 state parties from various regions of the globe – from Japan as well as coming from Latin America, and from Europe. This is a third of all state parties that have referred the matter to this court” the judge said.

“The truth is simple: these crimes aren’t concealed,” Khan also said.

Lvova-Belova from Russia’s Commissioner to Protect Children’s Rights, dismissed the arrest warrant issued by the ICC for her last Friday and said that it was “great” that the world community acknowledged her efforts to remove children from conflict zones, Russian state news agency TASS announced on Friday.

831 781 09.11.2022 Russian children’s rights ombudswoman Maria Lvova-Belova is in a meeting with the Russian-appointed leaders of Zaporizhzhia region within Zaporizhzhia region. The territory has gained access to Russia. RIA Novosti / Sputnik via AP

“It’s wonderful that the international community has recognized our efforts to aid the children in our country to ensure that we do not let them remain in areas of war, we bring them out, and that we provide them with a good environment for them, and that we surround them with kind and caring human beings,” she said to reporters, as reported by TASS.

Lvova-Belova frequently visits Russia-occupied Ukraine The Russian state has boasted about her personally escorting planeloads children back to the country. Putin has granted her the authority to employ unknown “additional actions” to determine if children do not have parental care within those four Ukrainian regions that it claims to have acquired.

UNICEF The United Nations’ children’s organization has stated that “adoption is not a good idea within or shortly after an emergency,” and that during chaos, children that are separated from their parents should not be considered to have been orphans. The UN also considers the forceful transfer of populations of other countries in or out of its borders as considered a war crime.

Many thousands of Ukrainian children were subjected to a series of deportations for a number of reasons by Russia According to Ukrainian the president Volodymyr Zelensky. He praised the decision of the International Criminal Court in his address to the nation on Friday night.

“In the criminal proceedings currently being conducted by law enforcement officials more than 16,000 arbitrary removals for Ukrainian youngsters by an occupier have been documented. But the true amount of deportees could be more,” he said.

“Such an illegal operation would not be possible without the approval from the top leader of the state of terror,” Zelensky added, in reference to Putin.

Despite the numerous referrals that Khan claims that led him to investigate the case, the prosecutor stressed that the presumption of innocence is in effect.

“I would like to encourage anyone in any circumstance before the courts who is accused of a crime and is suspects If you think you’re innocent, give evidence, clean your record.”



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