Gadhafi investigated for war crimes

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and
some of his sons and closest advisers face investigation for alleged crimes
against humanity.

“I would like to use this
opportunity to put them on notice,” International Criminal Court
prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo said.

 “I want to be clear: If their troops
commit crimes, they could be made criminally responsible.”

It is the first time the court will
be investigating allegations as an event is ongoing.

They include allegations of
security forces killing unarmed protesters, forced displacement, illegal detention
and airstrikes on civilians.

Investigators will look at the most
serious accusations in Libya since 15 February, the prosecutor said, when
demonstrations against Gadhafi ramped up.

Moreno-Ocampo provided a map
showing the locations where alleged crimes may have been committed.

He cautioned, however, that he
needed more time to review the evidence.

“This is the beginning of the
investigation. I can give no details,” he said.

“We cannot confirm these
allegations that these civilians were bombed by planes.

But we have … confirmation that
civilians that were demonstrating were shot by security forces.

“We interview people and we
will present the evidence to the judges. The judges will decide who should be
prosecuted,” he said.

But Moreno-Ocampo warned that
anti-Gadhafi protesters would also be held accountable for criminal activity.

“Now, it’s not just civilian
demonstrations.

 Now, there are people opposing Gadhafi with
weapons.

And also we would like to warn
them, you cannot commit crimes.

Our business in Libya is (to) stop
the crimes,” he said.

The prosecutor will offer Gadhafi
and others “any opportunity they want to provide their own version (of
events).

Moreno-Ocampo emphasized it was the
first time the ICC was able to respond in real time to allegations, partially
due to social-networking sites such as Facebook.

Moreno-Ocampo  said he plans to finish his investigation
within weeks and hopes to have the judge’s decision within months.

WORLDstory

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi pumps his fist in the air before making his speech in Tripoli, Thursday.
Photo: The Telegraph
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