THE HAGUE (AP) – The International Criminal Court said Friday it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes. for his alleged involvement in child abductions in Ukraine.
The court said in a statement that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and illegal transfer of population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
It also issued an arrest warrant on Friday for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on similar charges.
A possible trial of any Russian at the ICC is still a long way off, as Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction and does not extradite its nationals..
Ukraine is also not a member of the tribunal, but has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory and ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has visited the country four times since the opening of an investigation a year ago.
The ICC stated that its trial chamber considered that there were “reasonable grounds to believe that each of the accused is responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population and illegal transfer of population from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation “. , to the detriment of Ukrainian children”.
That’s what the court statement said “There are reasonable grounds to believe Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the child abductions “for having committed the offenses directly, jointly with others and/or through the intermediary of others (and) not having exercised sufficient force against the civilian and military subordinates who committed the offences”.
On Thursday, a UN-backed inquiry listed Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killings in occupied territories, among possible cases amounting to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.
The extensive investigation also revealed crimes committed against Ukrainians on Russian soil, including deported Ukrainian children who could not be reunited with their families, a “filtration” system aimed at selecting Ukrainians for detention, and torture and inhuman detention conditions.
But on Friday, the ICC rejected the child abduction allegations against Putin.
Moscow rejected the ICC’s decisionsstating that “they have no meaning to our country, even from a legal point of view.”
“Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has no obligation under it,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media.
“Russia does not cooperate with this body and any arrest warrants issued by the international court will be legally null and void as far as we are concerned,” he said without naming Putin.
For its part, the Ukrainian presidency affirmed that the ICC decision is only a first step in restoring justice to the Russian invasion.
“The Hague Chamber of the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Putin. This is just the beginning”Andriy Yermak, Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Presidency, declared on social networks.
The time of Israel