A top EU official has said that arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Vladimir Putin over war crimes “marks the beginning of holding Russia accountable” for the heinous crimes committed in Ukraine.
Josep Borrell said this is symbolic that Europe is once again ready to stand ready to hold a world leader accountable for war crimes committed in the full scale invasion of Ukraine.
Borrell wrote, “Russia/Ukraine: Statement by the High Representative @JosepBorrellF
following the ICC decision concerning the arrest warrant against President Putin.”
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The ICC’s top lawyer, Karim Khan KC who is the chief prosecutor is responsible for ensuring charges are brought against Putin as he oversaw the illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.
Moscow has hit back saying that they do not recognise the ICC, however if he sets foot on anyone of the 120 nations he will be arrested irrespective claiming diplomatic immunity.
Khan told the Sunday Times that the ICC can use another mechanism known as “confirmation in absence” which is used who “thumb their nose at justice,” or “flee jurisdiction or wantonly refuse to surrender.”
The prosecutor said that this paves the way for proceedings whereby “witnesses and other evidence can be heard and scrutinised by independent judges and a determination made,” meaning Putin who it pursued by the ICC goes “straight to trial.”
Putin is due to visit South Africa in August for the BRICS conference, however the country I a signatory and recognises the ICC and under the warrant issued by the Hague the Russian leader would have to be arrested.
Vincent Magwenya, the spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “We are, as the government, cognisant of our legal obligation.
“However, between now and the summit we will remain engaged with various relevant stakeholders.”
He added: “We note the report on the warrant of arrest that the ICC has issued.
“It remains South Africa’s commitment and very strong desire that the conflict in Ukraine is resolved peacefully through negotiations.”