International Criminal Court in Hague Issues Arrest Warrant for Putin

Friday, 17 March 2023

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin on 17 March, in the view of the situation in Ukraine.

Per the court's press service, Pre-Trial Chamber II issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova on 17 March 2023. The latter is the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Affairs.

Putin and Lvova-Belova are suspected of committing the war crime of illegal deportation of children from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, which has been taking place since at least 24 February 2022.

"Pre-Trial Chamber II considered, based on the Prosecution’s applications of 22 February 2023, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children," the International Criminal Court press release reads, that European Pravda has at its disposal. 

The Chamber notes that it considers the arrest warrants to be classified "to protect victims and witnesses, as well as to ensure the investigation".

"Nevertheless, mindful that the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing, and that the public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes, the Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber," announced ICC Acting President Piotr Hofmański

The said arrest warrants were issued based on motions filed by the Prosecutor's Office on 22 February 2023.

Earlier, The International Criminal Court (ICC) reportedly intended to open two war crime criminal cases connected with the Russian invasion of Ukraine: one about the kidnapping of Ukrainian children and the other about purposeful Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure facilities in Ukraine.

These cases will represent the first international indictments since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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