The International Criminal Court is preparing the official ground for the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi and two other high-ranking Libyan leaders later this month on charges of war crimes against peaceful protesters, including the deaths of thousands since demonstrations began in mid-February.

The granting of arrest warrants to prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo by the U.N. would do much to justify NATO’s prolonged military campaign in Libya, which has been criticized by some in the international community. –ARK

The Guardian:

Addressing the UN security council in New York, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said he will ask judges at the court in The Hague for three warrants. He has not named his suspects but in his report to the UN security council on Wednesday he said they were the people who gave the orders for the alleged atrocities. The Guardian has learned from well-informed sources that Gaddafi will top the list, and that his brother-in-law and intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, is also likely to be included.

… “Concerning the manner and nature of the crimes, the shooting at peaceful protesters was systematic, following the same modus operandi in multiple locations and executed through security forces. The persecution appears to be also systematic and implemented in different cities. War crimes are apparently committed as a matter of policy,” the report said. Moreno-Ocampo said thousands of people had died since the beginning of the conflict.

As well as the use of live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, the ICC investigation found evidence of a range of abuses including torture, systematic rape, the use of cluster munitions and other heavy weaponry in urban areas, the use of civilians as human shields and the blocking of humanitarian supplies.

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