‘Gaddafi arrest warrant to be issued soon’

In World News on May 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

By Al Jazeera

The International Criminal Court will likely issue an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi by the end of the month, Italy’s foreign minister said.

The warrant would be a “key moment” in the battle against Gaddafi and would make it impossible for him to escape into exile, foreign minister Franco Frattini said on Thursday.

“From that moment on, an exit from power or from the country will no longer be imaginable,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the office of ICC prosecutor Luis Ocampo told Al Jazeera that it was surprised by Frattini’s statement. Ocampo submitted a report to ICC judges on May 4 requesting an arrest warrant but is waiting for the court to either approve the warrant or request more information, the spokeswoman said.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on February 26 to ask the ICC to investigate human rights crimes in the uprising against Gaddafi, which began earlier that month.

Opposition rallies support abroad

The possibility of an impending arrest warrant came as the Libyan opposition’s support appeared to grow in the United States and United Kingdom, where high-ranking rebel representatives were making visits on Thursday.

Mahmoud Jibril, the chief of the opposition National Transitional Council’s “crisis team,” was leading a delegation to…

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