News / Africa

International Prosecutor Wants Libya to Arrest Gadhafi

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo speaks during a press conference at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, June 28, 2011.
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo speaks during a press conference at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, June 28, 2011.

The International Criminal Court's top prosecutor demanded Tuesday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi aides arrest him and hand him to the world court for trial.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo's remarks came after the court issued arrest warrants Monday for Gadhafi and two top lieutenants on war crimes charges linked to their suppression of an opposition uprising.

But Moreno-Ocampo said NATO forces, launching air strikes in support rebels against Gadhafi, have no legal method to arrest him.

Libya dismissed the arrest warrants late Monday.

Justice Minister Mohammad al-Gamudi said that Libya does not accept the legitimacy of the court.

The ICC issued the warrants earlier Monday against Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and the head of Libyan intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi.

The ICC indictment accuses Gadhafi and his aides of deterring protesters through the use of detention, torture and lethal force, such as ordering snipers to fire on civilians leaving mosques.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that the warrants are another indication Gadhafi "has lost his legitimacy." He said the Libyan leader must be held accountable.

Britain, France and Italy all praised the warrants.

Gadhafi is the second sitting head of state to have an ICC arrest warrant issued against him. One was previously issued for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, but has yet to be served.

A NATO campaign of air strikes on Libyan government targets entered its 101st day Tuesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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