President Vladimir Putin and another Russian official are now wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Here is a closer examination of the court, the warrant, and what it might imply for the president of Russia.
A brief about Vladimir Putin has received an arrest order from the international criminal court for war crimes committed in Ukraine
According to the court, Putin is personally liable for the kidnapping and deportation of Ukrainian children since Russia’s all-out invasion started in February of last year. The court also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s child rights commissioner, who has served as the public face of a Kremlin-sponsored initiative that has seen Ukrainian children and teenagers deported to Russia.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of population deportation and that of population transfer from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation,” the court stated in a statement.
A New York Times investigation that was released in October (https://nyti.ms/3yTOYDb) uncovered a number of Ukrainian children who had been abducted as a result of Russia’s organised resettlement operations. The painful process of coercion, trickery, and force was described by the kids. The shipments have been defended by Russia on humanitarian grounds.
Lawyers familiar with the ICC case recently stated that they anticipated prosecutors will move forward with the arrest warrants due to the substantial body of publicly available evidence. In a statement released on Friday, the court expressed its concern that “the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing and that public knowledge of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes.”
A 1998 agreement known as the Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court as a permanent entity to look into cases of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Ad hoc tribunals had previously been created by the UN Security Council to handle atrocities in nations like Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
The Hague, a Dutch city that has long served as a hub for international law and justice, serves as the location of the court.
A large number of democracies, including close American allies like Britain, joined the International Criminal Court. However, the United States has long maintained its distance from the court out of concern that it would one day seek to bring charges against American leaders. Russia is likewise not a member.
The decision of whether to give the court information obtained by the American intelligence community about Russian war crimes has been the subject of internal conflict within the Biden administration. According to those involved with the internal discussions, the majority of the administration is in favour of transferring the evidence, but the Pentagon has objected because it does not want to set a precedent that could lead to future American trials.
Human rights organisations hailed the warrant as a crucial step towards putting an end to impunity for Russian war crimes in Ukraine; however, the likelihood of a trial taking place while Putin is still in office appears slim given that the court cannot try defendants in absentia and Russia has declared it will not hand over its own officials.
The warrants were swiftly rejected by Russia’s foreign ministry, which noted that it is not a party to the court. Putin’s international travel may be restricted by the arrest order, which only serves to increase his isolation in the West. He must be detained if he enters a state that is a party to the ICC because that nation is required to do so by international law.
Stephen Rapp, a former ambassador-at-large who now directs the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the U.S. State Department, declared that this “makes Putin a pariah.” “He risks being arrested if he travels. This remains forever. And he added that if Russia doesn’t follow the warrants, sanctions against it would remain in place.
Putin will either be put on trial in The Hague, according to Rapp, or he will become more and more isolated before passing away with this hanging over his head.
The court must rely on other leaders and countries to serve as its sheriffs around the world because it lacks the authority to detain or bring to justice sitting heads of state. If a suspect is able to avoid being apprehended, the charges against him or her may never be heard in court.
The situation was compounded by a court action, though, in late 2017. Joseph Kony, a militant from Uganda and the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Despite the fact that Kony is not in prison and has been on the run for years, the court’s prosecutor requested in November that the confirmation of the charges against him proceed. Kony, who turned kidnapped kids into soldiers, is accused of killing people, abusing them cruelly, using them as slaves, raping them, and attacking civilians.
Khan’s motion is essentially a trial balloon to see if the judge will concur that charges can be confirmed even if a person is not in custody. The verdict is still pending.