By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) "issued warrants of arrest” for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the presidential commissioner for children's right, a statement from the court said Friday.
“Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal 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,” the statement said.
“President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute),” it said.
The ICC also said “the crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022.”
The court said there are "reasonable grounds" to believe that Putin "bears individual criminal responsibility" for the said crimes.
The statement also said Lvova-Belena is also allegedly responsible for “war crimes of unlawful deportation” of children from Ukraine to Russia.
The court's Pre-Trial Chamber II "considered that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for war crime of unlawful deportation of population and unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children."
According to the statement, the Chamber also "considered that the warrants are secret in order to protect victims and witnesses and also to safeguard the investigation."