Prosecutor seeks Gadhafi's arrest over protest deaths

Prosecutor seeks Gadhafi's arrest over protest deaths

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court prosecutor, also asked judges, who now need to see if there is enough evidence to issue warrants, for the arrest of Gadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam and his spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi.

Moreno-Ocampo signalled his action earlier this month when said he would seek three arrests for the “predetermined” killing of protesters in Libya after the UN Security Council referred the violence to the court in February.

Direct proof

“The office gathered direct evidence about orders issued by Muammar Gadhafi himself, direct evidence of Saif al-Islam organising the recruitment of mercenaries and direct evidence of the participation of al-Senussi in the attacks against demonstrators,” Moreno-Ocampo said on Monday.

The prosecutor moved with unprecedented speed in his investigation into the early violence in the uprising against Gadhafi’s rule, with the request for arrest warrants coming just 2-1/2 months after the Security Council referral.

Libyan officials have already denounced the ICC prosecutor’s action, saying the court is a creation of the West for prosecuting African leaders.

Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in Libya, the bloodiest of the revolts which have convulsed the Middle East in what has been called the “Arab Spring.”

Libyan officials deny killing civilians, saying instead they were forced to take action against criminal armed gangs and al-Qaeda militants.