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War Crime allegation: ICC issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
UNI

War Crime allegation: ICC issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin

| @indiablooms | 18 Mar 2023, 09:16 am

The Hague: The  International Criminal Court on Friday issued arrest warrants against Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

"Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court ('ICC' or 'the Court') issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova," the court said in a statement.

"Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute)," read the statement.

"The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute), and (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute)," it said.

"Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, born on 25 October 1984, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the  President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute)," the court said.

The court said the crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022.

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that Ms Lvova-Belova bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute)," the statement said.

"Pre-Trial Chamber II considered, based on the Prosecution’s applications of 22 February 2023, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears 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, in prejudice of Ukrainian children," read the statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was grateful to Khan and the criminal court for their decision to press charges against "state evil", reports BBC.

But because Russia is not a signed member of the ICC, there is very little chance that Vladimir Putin or Maria Lvova-Belova will appear in the dock at The Hague.

The ICC relies on the cooperation of governments to arrest people, and Russia is "obviously not going to cooperate in this respect", Jonathan Leader Maynard, a lecturer in international politics at King's College London, told the BBC.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said: "We must ensure that those responsible for alleged crimes are held accountable and that children are returned to their families and communities. As I stated at the time, we cannot allow children to be treated as if they are the spoils of war."

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