The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant against the Russian president. Vladimir Putin for war crimes, due to his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of children in Ukraine.
In a statement, the court stated that putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and illegal transfer of population (children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.
The ICC also issued an arrest warrant on Friday for Maria Alexeyevna Lvova-BelovaCommissioner for Children’s Rights of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on similar charges.
The president of the court, Piotr Hofmanski, said in a video that while ICC judges issued the orders, it will be up to the international community to enforce them. The ICC it has no police force of its own to enforce orders.
“The ICC is doing its part of the job as a court of law. Judges issued arrest warrants. Implementation depends on international cooperationhe declared.
A possible trial of some Russian in the ICC remains a long shot, as Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction — a position reaffirmed earlier this week by the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov— and does not extradite its citizens.
Ukraine is also not a member of the court, but has given the ICC jurisdiction over its territory and ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has visited it four times since opening an investigation a year ago.
The ICC said its pre-trial chamber found that there were “Sufficient grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of illegal population deportation and illegal population transfer from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation to the detriment of Ukrainian children”.
On Thursday, a UN-backed investigation cited Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine, as well as systematic torture and killings in occupied areas, among other alleged acts constituting war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.
The extensive investigation also uncovered crimes against Ukrainians committed on Russian soil, such as preventing deported Ukrainian children from reuniting with their families, a system of “filtration” which aimed to identify Ukrainians in order to imprison, torture and subject them to subhuman detention conditions.
However, the ICC put on Friday the face of putin in child abduction complaints.
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