The Hague, November 2, 2011 (FH) - The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Wednesday before the UN Security Council that he received an invitation from the National Transition Council (NTC, new authorities) to visit Libya to investigate crimes allegedly committed by all parties, including NATO and former rebel forces.

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"The Office conducted its first assessment mission to Libya to prepare for the collection of further evidence on the territory where the alleged crimes took place", Luis Moreno Ocampo declared when he presented his second "Statement on the situation in Libya".

On March 3, 2011, ICC Prosecution opened an investigation into crimes committed in Libya after February 15, 2011, in compliance with a UN Security Council resolution.

On June 27, arrest warrants were issued against Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and the former chief of Intelligence, Abdullah Al-Senoussi.

Moreno Ocampo explained his Office was going to "end the case" of Muammar Gaddafi, who died on October 20.

He reiterated that his Office "received questions from individuals linked to Saif Al-Islam about the legal conditions attending to his potential surrender to the Court: what would happen to him if he appeared before the Judges? Could he be sent back to Libya? What would happen if he were to be convicted? What would happen if he were to be acquitted?".

ICC investigations in Libya will focus on "the collection of evidence against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi in preparation for their eventual trial", and on "gender crimes", he said.

Moreno Ocampo stated that there would also be investigations into "allegations of crimes committed by NATO, (...) allegations of crimes committed by NTC-related forces, including the alleged detention of civilians suspected to be mercenaries and the alleged killing of detained combatants".

He concluded by reminding that "the possibility to carry out all of these investigations will depend on the budget available to the Office".

The ICC budget will be discussed in December during the State Parties General Assembly. For the moment, states seem reluctant to increase the 2011 budget of about 100 million Euros.


© Hirondelle News Agency