Libya body parts 520.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
THE HAGUE - The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor said on Monday he hoped to complete a preliminary examination of the violence in Libya in a few days before opening a full investigation.
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The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family, and referred Libya's crackdown on anti-government demonstrators to the International Criminal Court.
When the office of the prosecutor receives a Security Council referral,
the statute requires that prosecutors carry out a preliminary
examination to see whether there is reasonable basis to proceed with a
This is only the second ICC probe to be triggered by a UN Security
Council referral. If its preliminary examination is completed in just a
few days, this would highlight the urgency with which the office of the
prosecutor views the case.
When the Security Council referred the Darfur crisis in Sudan to the ICC
on March 31, 2005, it took two months for the prosecutor to open an
Among the issues that the prosecutor will consider is the nature of the
alleged crimes as the court has jurisdiction only over war crimes,
crimes against humanity and genocide.
If the prosecutor decides to open an investigation, they may request
from an ICC pre-trial chamber to deliver warrants of arrest or summonses
to appear for people that may bear the highest responsibility for the
There have been reports that Gadhafi's government forces have been
firing indiscriminately on peaceful protesters. Estimates are that
upwards of 1,000 people have been killed
Gadhafi is no stranger to international isolation.
UN sanctions were slapped on his country after suspected Libyan agents
planted a bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of
Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people, mostly Americans.
Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing in 2003 and pledged to end
efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. The US and Libya in
2009 exchanged ambassadors for the first time in 35 years, after Libya
paid about $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the Lockerbie
In Geneva on Friday, the UN Human Rights Council called for an
investigation into possible crimes against humanity in Libya and
recommended Libya's suspension from membership of the world body's top
human rights body. The United Nations General Assembly is due to debate
that matter early this week.