International Criminal Court Requests Arrest Warrants For Gadhafi And Son

The International Criminal Court has requested arrest warrants for Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al Islam for crimes against humanity. At a news conference, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said forces loyal to the dictator had attacked civilians in their homes, shot at demonstrators, shelled funeral processions and used snipers to kill people leaving mosques.

The International Criminal Court has requested arrest warrants for Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al Islam for crimes against humanity.

At a news conference, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said forces loyal to the dictator had attacked civilians in their homes, shot at demonstrators, shelled funeral processions and used snipers to kill people leaving mosques.

He also announced that he had requested a warrant for the country's head of espionage, Abdullah al Senussi, over the violent crackdown on protesters in February.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo is also due to file a 74-page document with nine annexes.

There are concerns the arrest warrants could back the leader into a corner

Judges must now evaluate the evidence before deciding whether to confirm the charges and issue international arrest warrants.

It outlines allegations of systematic attacks against civilians by Col Gaddafi's forces since February.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo says he had concluded "there was enough evidence to present a request for arrest warrants for the commission of two categories" - crimes against humanity and persecution.

"The Office collected good and solid evidence to identify who bears the greatest responsibility; no political responsibilities but rather individual criminal responsibilities for crimes committed in Libya," he said.

Saif al Islam was once seen as his father's likely successor

The ICC has catalogued the allegations in just two-and-a-half months.

It has reviewed more than 1,200 documents, studied video and photographs and conducted interviews.

The information will now be handed to three judges, from Brazil, Italy and Botswana, in 'Chamber 1' of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

They are expected to uphold the prosecutors charges against the three individuals, but any announcement could take several months.

Rebel fighters in the western area of Zintan

Speaking to Sky News, sources close to Col Gaddafi have expressed irritation that the ICC prosecutors team did not visit the country as part of their investigation.

But the ICC have defended their work. A spokeswoman explained why they had not conducted any research in Libya.
   

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