The Hague (EFE).- The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued this Friday an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, as “presumed responsible” for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children and their transfer from occupied areas in Ukraine to Russia, which is a war crime under this court’s treaty, the Rome Statute.
For its part, Russia described the arrest warrant for the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, as “legally void”.
“Possible ‘prescriptions’ for arrest that come out of the International Court will be legally null for us,” wrote Maria Zajárova, Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, on her Telegram channel.
The diplomat argued that “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”, therefore, in this regard, “it has no obligations.”
The ICC pre-trial chamber also issued a second arrest warrant against Russian politician Maria Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, on the same charge.
Both arrest warrants are the first of their kind issued by the ICC in the context of its investigation of war crimes in Ukraine.
“Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born October 7, 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and illegal transfer of population (children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia,” says the indictment arguing for the issuance of the arrest warrant.
From February 24, 2022
The crimes of which he is accused occurred since at least February 24, 2022 in the “occupied territory of Ukraine”, said the ICC, which considers that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Putin has “individual criminal responsibility” for the war crime that involves the deportation of minors.
Putin’s individual responsibility, as head of state and superior officer, could be translated as “having committed the acts directly, together with others or through others”, or for “not having exercised adequate control over his civilian or military subordinates who committed the acts or allowed their commission and were under their control and effective authority”, as explained in article 28 of the founding treaty of the ICC.
As regards Lvova-Belova (1984), the ICC considers that he has “individual criminal responsibility” for the same type of war crime after “having committed the acts directly, together with others and/or through others” since the February 24 of last year, the date on which the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
Russia has not ratified the Rome Statute
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan asked the court for authorization to issue these two arrest warrants on February 22, the ICC reported today.
The Court also details that these orders are generally secret to protect victims, witnesses and the ongoing investigation into Ukraine, but agreed to make the names of the suspects public because “the conduct addressed in the present situation allegedly continues” and to make public this information could contribute to the prevention of new crimes.
Russia has not ratified the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, so it is not a member of this court, nor is Ukraine, but Kiev has authorized the Court to investigate the commission of war crimes during the Russian invasion.
The ICC identified “hundreds of children” deported to Russia to demand Putin’s arrest
The ICC prosecutor also identified, in his petition for the arrest warrant of President Vladimir Putin, the deportation to Russia of “at least hundreds of children taken from Ukrainian orphanages and child care homes” in the context of “acts of aggression ” of the Russian Army against Ukraine.
Khan alleged that these acts of deporting Ukrainian minors to Russia and their adoption by Russian families “demonstrate an intent to permanently remove these children from their own country,” an illegal act contrary to the Geneva Conventions.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants this Friday, one against Putin and the other against Russian politician Maria Lvova-Belova, presidential commissioner for the Rights of the Child in Russia, for the illegal and forced deportation of Ukrainian children, a war crime.