The International Criminal Court, ICC on Friday March 17, 2023 issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin, president of Russia and Maria Alekseyevna, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the office of the President.
According to a section of the press release issued by ICC president, Judge Piotr Hofmanski, both state personalities are allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
“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,” a section of the warrant says.
The International Criminal Court has furthered that Putin and Alekseyevna committed the crimes indirectly through the military of Russia, adding that as President, he failed to exercise his powers to control security forces.
“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)”
Who can arrest a president and why?
According to an interview granted to Le Parisien, William Julie, a lawyer specialized in international law outlined that “the immunity traditionally accepted by Heads of State in their country no longer exists here”. Adding that Putin can be arrested and brought before the court that asked for his arrest, depending on who issues the arrest.
“By staying in Russia, we can even say that Putin does not risk anything as long as he in power,” the lawyer added.
The lawyer furthered that it is left to the 123 State Parties to finalize the arrest, adding that the fact that Russia is not a state party to the International Criminal Court makes the arrest warrant ungrounded.
“The decision of the International Criminal Court are meaningless for our country, including from a legal point of view,” Marie Zakharova, Russian Foreign ministry spokeswoman wrote on social media.
The United Nations
The United Nations could try to prosecute, but that would mean getting the Security Council to agree – which has proved difficult in the past.
The Security Council’s permanent members – China, Russia, the United States, France and the United Kingdom – hold veto powers over any decision. That power has been criticised for its undemocratic nature.
Source: Cameroon News Agency