Libya faces possible charges: ICC prosecutor

ICC Prosecutor asked court judges to issue arrest warrants against Gaddafi.

Updated: May 18, 2011, 22:00 PM IST

The Hague: The International Criminal
Court`s prosecutor warned the Libyan regime on Wednesday it could
face investigation and prosecution if it tries to cover up
crimes committed against its people.

The office of the prosecutor sent a letter to Libyan
Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi, its head of jurisdiction
Phakiso Mochochoko said.

"The office calls upon you and other Libyan authorities
to refrain from being involved in such cover up. Failure to do
so will result in investigation and prosecution," said the
letter, shown to a news agency.

The office "considers that part of the criminal plan
implemented in Libya includes the cover-up of the crimes"
committed to quash a popular uprising against Colonel Muammar
Gaddafi that erupted in February.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Monday asked the
court`s judges to issue arrest warrants against Gaddafi, his
second-oldest son Seif al-Islam and his brother-in-law
Abdullah al-Senussi -- for crimes against humanity.

But Libya`s government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim has
dismissed the ICC`s bid, saying the court has no jurisdiction
over Tripoli while denying accusations that the regime ordered
the killing of civilians or hired mercenaries against them.

However, Mochochoko said Gaddafi`s regime is obliged to
cooperate after the United Nations Security Council in
February referred the Libyan crisis to the ICC prosecutor for
investigation into crimes against humanity.

Thousands of people have died in violent clashes pitting
regime opponents and Gaddafi loyalists, and forced some
750,000 to flee, according to data from the ICC and the UN.