Arrest warrant for Putin: Moscow opens criminal investigation against ICC magistrates

Arrest warrant against Putin: Moscow opens criminal investigation against judges of the ICC


Russia announced on Monday the opening of a criminal investigation against the prosecutor and three judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), after the court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for the illegal “deportation” of children to Ukraine.

These magistrates, including ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, “issued illegal decisions (aiming to) arrest the President of the Russian Federation and the Commissioner for Children's Rights,” the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement. .

“A criminal investigation has been opened”, it is specified.

Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor, is thus targeted on the grounds of having “initiated legal proceedings charges against a person known to be innocent, combined with the unlawful accusation of having committed a serious or particularly serious crime”, as well as “preparing an attack on a representative of a foreign state”.

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Vladimir Putin is accused by the ICC, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, of war crimes for the “deportation” of thousands of Ukrainian children in the context of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

If Volodymyr Zelensky called the decision “historic” and Joe Biden “justified”, Moscow derided it as “null and void”, because Russia is not a member of the ICC and therefore does not recognize jurisdiction of this court, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, “criminal prosecution is obviously illegal, since there is no ground of criminal responsibility”. He indicated that Vladimir Putin, as head of state, “enjoys absolute immunity from the jurisdiction of foreign states”.

“For the moment he does not it is only about opening a case”, but “if action were to be taken by Russia, we would protect the staff of the ICC”, reacted the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders from London where he participates at an international conference in support of the Court's action in Ukraine.