Archives For Rome Statute

Will US and Qatari war crimes be investigated by the ICC?

As far as the HRI investigation into the cluster bombing of Misrata is concerned the crucial passage in today’s statement seeking arrest warrants for Muammar Abu Minya Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and the Head of the Intelligence Abdullah Al Sanousi is:

The Office will further investigate allegations of massive rapes, war crimes committed by different parties during the armed conflict that started at the end of February, and attacks against sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries. “There will be no impunity for such crimes in Libya,” said the Prosecutor.

We will see if Luis Moreno-Ocampo has the balls to thoroughly investigate the war crimes committed by coalition forces.

On the issue of the apparent targeting of Africans by the ICC, there is a denial in the Q&A section. This denial doesn’t really hold water. If Libya was guilty of the cluster bombing of Misrata, Gaddafi could be held responsible by the ICC, if Barack Obama or Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani are found to be responsible the ICC will not be able to prosecute them.

The reason for this is the following paragraph which the US insisted on before allowing the referral to the ICC:

6. Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.

USA and Qatari officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC unless their States waive their jurisdiction as they are not party to the Rome Statute.

Something seems to have been forgotten here by the American exceptionalists: something even the ancient Romans knew – the goddess Justicia is blind.