WORLD – RUSSIA
The Russian authorities have opened a criminal case against the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) who issued arrest warrants for President Vladimir Putin and Kremlin’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova. This was reported by the Interfax news agency.
“The actions of the ICC judges are found to have elements of criminal offences under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, namely: knowingly illegal detention, as well as preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations”, the Interfax news agency said, citing the press service of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
In particular, it was reported that the case was initiated against ICC prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan, trial judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez.
Putin's arrest warrant
The ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Putin and children’s ombudsman Lvova-Belova on Friday. Both are accused of abducting Ukrainian children to Russia. “There are reasonable grounds to believe that President Putin is personally responsible for these crimes,” the ICC said in a statement.
The court in The Hague does not recognise the immunity of the head of state in cases involving war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. However, there is little chance of a trial taking place as the ICC cannot try cases in absentia and Russia is unlikely to extradite its citizens, especially its leaders, for trial.