May 28, 2023

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“Putin’s Arrest” Warrant… Who and How to Arrest Him?

Vladimir Putin (AFP)

Russia and Ukraine

Russia is not among the 123 countries that have signed the Hague Convention

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After issuing an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, how can the International Criminal Court enforce its judgment against him, especially given the lack of military or military power?

The International Criminal Court specializes in holding accountable those responsible for war crimes, and relies on national authorities to extradite the accused. Therefore, denying countries cooperation in implementing the Court’s decisions is problematic.

And after he became a wanted man by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and by order of the International Criminal Court.. Who and how to arrest Putin?

International Court of Justice at The Hague

Before answering this question, let us note that when national authorities cannot hold those responsible for war crimes and genocide, 123 countries, signatories to the treaty, are competent to hold a court of universal jurisdiction responsible, but Russia is not one. they.

The court has no police or military forces and relies on civilian authorities to arrest and hand over wanted persons.

That is why the court’s decisions face a problem, represented by refusing to extradite the accused. I ran into trouble with the extradition of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, as many signatories to the court’s charter refused to cooperate in his arrest, including Chad and Kenya.

The Russian president is believed to be the second president, after al-Bashir, to be issued an arrest warrant while in office. The rest of the references are limited to military leaders and officers who committed war crimes.

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In the Russian case, when Putin leaves a country, he can be arrested in limited cases, such as bringing him to trial or handing him over to his country’s authorities.

In a country where Putin enjoys absolute power, it is unlikely that the Kremlin will seek to bring him to the International Court of Justice.

The Kremlin says the memorandum is meaningless, while the West sees it as a signal to the international community that what is happening in Ukraine is illegal and nobody can arrest Putin in the meantime.

It is noteworthy that Fadi al-Abdullah, the official spokesman of the International Criminal Court, announced that the decision to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin was not a condemnation, but an invitation to appear and be investigated.

In his statements to Al-Arabiya/Al-Hadad from The Hague on Friday evening, he said Putin’s arrest depended on international cooperation, adding that the Russian president was suspected of war crimes.

While he clarified that countries that are not members of the court are not bound by its decisions, he indicated that Putin’s arrest warrant would be distributed to member states.

“We have the right to demand that any member state arrest Putin on its soil,” he added.

In addition, he confirmed that the court hears Ukraine’s cases impartially.

For his part, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed Friday’s issuance of an arrest warrant for Putin by the International Criminal Court, saying “the wheels of justice have begun to turn.”

The European Union’s foreign policy chief confirmed that the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against the Russian president over the war in Ukraine was “the beginning of accountability”.

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“We appreciate and support the work of the International Criminal Court,” added Joseph Borrell on his Twitter account.

The Rome Statute is the founding text of the International Criminal Court, which has its headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

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