Gaddafi Arrest Warrant-ICC Prosecutor


Gaddafi Arrest Warrant-ICC Prosecutor

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi, (a son-in-law of the Colonel) have been charged by Prosecutor and arrest warrants to be issued.

(From Blog Posting May 16, 2011- "Arrest Warrant for Gaddafi, Son & Intelligence Chief in Libya") - The ICC has confirmed the Prosecutor’s arrest warrants. Presumably for the sake of a “negotiated settlement” can the diplomats/politicians now derail the legal process and criminal prosecution? Some of us believe that the rule of law is the best way to achieve true peace as well as justice. However, there are others who believe that the ICC (International Criminal Court) arrest warrants will complicate the chance to reach a cease-fire and settlement. Precedent in Bosnia & Herzegovina indicates that faced with such a presentation of choices, the “mediators” will opt for the quick fix and avoid the route of justice.

Since such mediators themselves largely feel beyond accountability to international legal institutions and only subject to political and national authority, the means by which they may try to circumvent justice and the legal process may be broad, from secret deals about non-arrest to promises of securing effective amnesty (even if amnesty legally is not an option for war crimes).

UN Security Council Options & Deferring “Arrest Warrants”
Legally though, the only option is to delay justice. The UN Security Council (UNSC) can have the arrest warrants effectively frozen for a year, although it cannot void, (The UNSC can presumably extend delay with further votes). However, it is not likely that there are sufficient votes in the UNSC to dictate a deferral in the Gaddafi case, (as was the instance in the case of current Sudanese President Al-Bashir for Darfur offense related charges).

The Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo has proactively worked to avoid such a repeat of the Al-Bashir precedent, including the briefing he gave to the UNSC in New York less than two weeks earlier. Ocampo has also kept the UNSC informed regularly through non-public briefings.

“Bassiouni Panel” of UN Human Rights Council
We should also recall that in the matter of Libya, the UN Human Rights Council has established its own inquiry under the leadership of Professor Cherif Bassiouni (“Bassiouni Panel”). Professor Bassiouni is a champion of international justice and the ICC. His experience with justice in Bosnia & Herzegovina is only likely to enhance a commitment to legality over political expediency.

Thus, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi, (a son-in-law of the Colonel) are not likely to have many ways out as they now face charges for crimes against humanity confirmed by a three-judge ICC panel.(Photos above of Colonel Gaddafi, son Saif al_Iaslam and Prosecutor Ocampo). In my opinion, this is more likely to assure peace in Libya versus mediators who may be tempted to improvise, wink, scheme and opt for temporary options that undermine genuine lasting solutions. If temporary relief is the only option, even then it can be more sharply addressed through the UNSC, if it is truly and by significant majority convinced to defer the arrest warrants for the time. The precedent of Sudan’s Al-Bashir is not particularly promising and even less is the example of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic in the case of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Rule of Law & Peace Should be Managed as Compatible Rather than Conflicting
Politicians and the diplomats that represent them hate to have any option beyond their grasp. Maximum control wielded is the nature of the animal. The new environment that makes it more difficult to blunt justice will be viewed by some as unfavorable to a “negotiated settlement” I think to the contrary. Playing with sharp objects, like justice should be left to a new grown-up environment in diplomacy where the rule of law is the best option and justice and peace are managed as compatible rather than exclusive to each other.

By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey
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Related Reports at “War Crimes Justice Channel”


---“Libya Charges - ICC Briefing to UN Security Council” -

---“Libya Inquiry Commission-“Bassiouni Panel” -

---“Libya: Evidence to Charge”-


Language: English

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 10 mins

Country: Libya


  • Muhamed Sacirbey UNTV-ICC


  • Susan Sacirbey