ICC issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for war crimes, Moscow dumps it
The judges believed there were reasonable grounds to believe that the duo 'bear responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation'.
Arrest warrants have been issued against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children's rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, by a judge in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the 'unlawful deportation' of Ukrainian children. To note, Moscow does not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
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The arrest warrant comes following hearings based on the investigation into war crimes in Ukraine by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan. Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber II issued the warrants. The judges believed there were reasonable grounds to believe that the duo 'bear responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation'.
To note, Ukraine has, time and again, accused Moscow of 'deporting' Ukrainians. Kyiv even claimed that Moscow was abducting children from Ukraine and arranging their illegal adoption by Russian citizens.
In a video statement, ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański said: "It is forbidden by international law for occupied powers to transfer civilians from the territory they live in, to other territories. Children enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention. The ICC attaches great importance to the protection of victims, especially children."
In another statement, the ICC said that the Chamber considered that the warrants are secret in order to protect victims and witnesses and also to safeguard the investigation.
'Nevertheless, mindful that the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing and that the public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes, the Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber,' the statement said.
Moscow, however, rejected the warrant. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, "The decisions of the international criminal court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view. Russia is not a party to the Rome statute of the international criminal court and bears no obligations under it."
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