News / Africa

Analysts: Warrant for Gadhafi Could Complicate His Possible Departure

Muammar Gaddafi speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from Libyan TV, released May 11, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from Libyan TV, released May 11, 2011

Multimedia

With the International Criminal Court's arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son and a trusted ally, some analysts say avenues could close for Mr. Gadhafi, should he want to leave Libya in defeat and find a safe haven.


The streets of rebel-held Misrata erupted in jubilation when news came Monday that the International Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant for embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Tuesday, the ICC’s top prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, called on Mr. Gadhafi’s top aides to hand him over.

“Today, it is time for arrest," Moreno-Ocampo said.

But those close to the Libyan leader reject the court’s authority. “This court is nothing but a cover for the military operations of NATO, NATO which tried and declared it would assassinate the brother leader and his family. These actions from NATO are crimes against humanity,” said Mohammed al-Gamudi, Libya's justice minister.

He went on to say that Libya might look for ways to prosecute NATO for crimes against humanity. For more than 100 days, NATO air strikes have targeted Libyan government targets.  

Libya is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court, but nations that could offer Mr. Gadhafi safe haven are.  And that complicates matters, says Brett Schaefer, a legal analyst for the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“What we do know is that numerous governments had approached Gadhafi about an exile and there were significant rumors that he was entertaining these options until the referral itself,” Schaefer said.

The referral came from the United Nations Security Council.  That body requested that the ICC launch an investigation into Mr. Gadhafi and his aides.  But once that referral is made, the court can act independently.  In short, there’s no going back.

International pressure can be intense on countries that accept exiled leaders with arrest warrants outstanding.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor fled to Nigeria when the Special Court for Sierre Leone, also at The Hague, issued a warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges.  And the Nigerians eventually turned him over. Mr. Gadhafi has said this example meant leaders weren’t likely to accept exile deals in the future.

Schaefer says he would like to see Libyans deal justice for Mr. Gadhafi. “In an ideal world what you would have is the rebel forces be victorious, arrest Gadhafi and his associates and then hold them accountable domestically,” Schaefer said.

Mr. Gadhafi has said many times publicly that he will stay and fight to the death in his homeland.  With an arrest warrant now marking him a wanted man, he may not have a choice.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid