Hague court issues arrest warrants for Gaddafi | Pakistan Today

Hague court issues arrest warrants for Gaddafi

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on Monday for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and rebels trying to oust him said their forces had advanced to within 80kms (50 miles) of capital Tripoli. The court approved warrants for Gaddafi as well as his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity. ICC prosecutors allege they were involved in the killing of protesters who rose up in February against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
Celebrations erupted in Benghazi after the ICC ruling. People honked their car horns, waved flags, fired shots into the air and flashed victory signs in the street Gaddafi has “absolute, ultimate and unquestioned control” over Libya’s state apparatus and its security forces, presiding judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng said in reading out the ruling. She added that both Gaddafi and Saif al-Islam “conceived and orchestrated a plan to deter and quell by all means the civilian demonstrations” against the regime and that al-Senussi used his position of command to have attacks carried out.
Gaddafi’s government denies targeting civilians, saying it was forced to act against armed criminal gangs and al Qaeda militants.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China had had contact with both sides in the Libyan conflict. “We hope that the issue of Libya will be resolved through political peaceful means to reduce the humanitarian harm — in particular the harm to innocent civilians,” said Wen, speaking through a translator during a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Anti-Gaddafi rebels, based in the Western Mountains region southwest of Tripoli, made their biggest breakthrough in weeks to reach the town of Bir al-Ghanam, where they are now fighting pro-Gaddafi forces for control, their spokesman said.
The advance took them about 30 km (18 miles) north from their previous position and closer to Tripoli, Gaddafi’s power base.
“We are on the southern and western outskirts of Bir al-Ghanam,” Juma Ibrahim, a rebel spokesman in the nearby town of Zintan, said by telephone. “There were battles there most of yesterday. Some of our fighters were martyred and they (government forces) also suffered casualties and we captured equipment and vehicles. It’s quiet there today and the rebels are still in their positions.” Gaddafi’s administration had no immediate reaction to the ICC ruling. Speaking on Sunday, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the court was guilty of double standards and followed a Western political agenda.
NATO’s chief said the international arrest warrant issued for Gaddafi showed that time is running out for the increasingly isolated Libyan leader.
“This decision once again highlights the increasing isolation of the Gaddafi regime,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.
“It reinforces the reason for NATO’s mission to protect the Libyan people from Gadddafi’s forces. Gaddafi and his henchmen need to realise that time is rapidly running out for them,” he said.

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