ICC seeks UN help in arresting 3 Libyan fugitives

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor requested help from the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to arrest three fugitives in Libya. (Wikimedia Commons: Hypergio)
Updated 10 May 2018

ICC seeks UN help in arresting 3 Libyan fugitives

UNITED NATIONS: The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor requested help from the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to arrest three fugitives in Libya, including a military commander serving under strongman Khalifa Haftar and a son of the late leader Muammar Qaddafi.
During a UN Security Council meeting, Fatou Bensouda noted that ICC investigators had traveled to Libya in March for the first time since June 2012 to help advance investigations on alleged war crimes.
“I repeat my call to this council to engage with my office and lend your support in assisting with strategies for the arrest and surrender of ICC fugitives in Libya,” she said about the fugitives.
“Greater deterrence can only be assured through the arrest and surrender of suspects to the ICC so that they may answer the charges against them.”
The prosecutor warned she “will not hesitate” to request new arrest warrants to hold the suspects responsible.
Among those targeted is Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi, whose whereabouts have been unknown since June 2014. Bensouda said she was unsure whether he was being held.
Warrants are also out for the arrests of former security chief Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, accused of war crimes committed in 2011, and Busayf Al-Werfalli, a commander of the Al-Saiqa brigade wanted for the cold-blooded execution of 33 people and other war crimes.
Werfalli has been accused of more crimes since an August 2017 arrest warrant against him, according to Bensouda.
Bensouda has appealed directly to Haftar to ensure Werfalli’s arrest.
Libya has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed its longtime dictator Qaddafi, with two rival authorities vying for control.
Haftar supports an administration based in the east of the country. A UN-backed unity government based in the capital has struggled to assert its authority outside the west.
Werfalli’s “immediate arrest and surrender is now more important than ever,” Bensouda said.
In addition to accountability, his arrest would “send a clear message to would-be perpetrators that such reprehensible crimes will not be tolerated and that there will be real consequences for the commission of such crimes,” the prosecutor added.


Trump: I am Israel’s best pal in the White House

Updated 7 min 39 sec ago

Trump: I am Israel’s best pal in the White House

  • Unlike his predecessors, Donald Trump says ‘I kept my promises’
  • The president also claimed there are some Jewish people in America who don’t love Israel enough

HOLLYWOOD, Florida: President Donald Trump said Saturday that Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than him because, unlike his predecessors, “I kept my promises.”
Trump energized an audience that numbered in the hundreds at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Florida by recounting his record on issues of importance to Jews, including an extensive riff on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocate the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Trump said his predecessors only paid lip service to the issue.
“They never had any intention of doing it, in my opinion,” Trump said. “But unlike other presidents, I kept my promises.”
Trump also highlighted his decision to reverse more than a half-century of US policy in the Middle East by recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war but its sovereignty over the territory had not been recognized by the international community.
In his speech, the president also claimed there are some Jewish people in America who don’t love Israel enough.
“We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more, I have to tell you that. We have to do it. We have to get them to love Israel more,” Trump said, to some applause. “Because you have Jewish people that are great people — they don’t love Israel enough.”
Aaron Keyak, the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, denounced Trump’s remarks as anti-Semitic.
“Trump’s insistence on using anti-Semitic tropes when addressing Jewish audiences is dangerous and should concern every member of the Jewish community — even Jewish Republicans,” Keyak said.
Trump has been accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic stereotypes before, including in August, when he said American Jews who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” A number of Jewish groups noted at the time that accusations of disloyalty have long been made against Jews.
The Israeli American Council is financially backed by one of Trump’s top supporters, the husband-and-wife duo of Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate.
Both Adelsons appeared on stage to introduce Trump, with Miriam Adelson asserting that Trump “has already gone down in the annals of Jewish history, and that is before he’s even completed his first term in office.”
The Adelsons donated $30 million to Trump’s campaign in the final months of the 2016 race. They followed up by donating $100 million to the Republican Party for the 2018 congressional elections.
Trump’s entourage at the event included Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, along with Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Michael Waltz, whom he described as “two warriors” defending him against “oppression” in the impeachment inquiry.
Trump criticized Israel’s sworn enemy, Iran, saying he withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal with other world powers because Tehran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon
But Trump voiced support for Iranian citizens who have been protesting a decision by their government to withdraw fuel subsidies, which sent prices skyrocketing.
Trump said he believes thousands of Iranians have been killed in the protests and that thousands more have been arrested.
“America will always stand with the Iranian people in their righteous struggle for freedom,” he said.