The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin, what are the effects and what are the chances of an arrest?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an official arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (March 17, 2023) on charges of war crimes in Ukraine. since Moscow invaded the neighboring country in February last year.

Putin has become only the third world leader to have an arrest warrant issued by the ICC while in office. This may affect his ability to travel abroad. including meeting with other world leaders who may be reluctant to be accepted or wanted by an international court

The International Criminal Court has tried the country’s former leaders before. after he stepped down But arrest the president who is still in office And the bigger that man is Vladimir Putin, can it really be done? The opinion of many analysts It is not that easy.

Maria Alekseyevna Lova-Belova, Commissioner for the Rights of the President of the Russian Federation

Putin on war crimes warrant

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Russian Presidential Rights Commissioner Maria Alekseyevna Lova-Belova. on charges related to the illegal Deportation of citizens and children from Ukraine to Russia. Many of the children were adopted by Russian families.

Deportation of citizens is a war crime under the Rome Statute (Rome statute), a treaty that establishes an international criminal court. with Russia signing the treaty But Putin led the country to withdraw in 2016, declaring that Moscow does not recognize the judicial power of the ICC court.

Ukraine was not a member of the treaty. But Ukraine gave jurisdiction to this international court in The Hague. Over the past year, the Prosecutor General of the ICC Karim Khan has visited Ukraine four times, which led to the conclusion that there are enough fundamental reasons to believe that Putin is personally responsible for crimes. child abduction base

The Kremlin has always denied accusations of war crimes, and recently the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, Maria Zakharova, said: The decision of the International Criminal Court has no meaning for Russia Including from a legal point of view. Russia did not join the Rome Statute. Therefore, there are no obligations. comply with the arrest warrant

123 nations bound to arrest Putin

The world’s first permanent criminal court Officially started operation in July 2002. Signed to support all EU member states. Including Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, 33 African countries and 19 countries in the South Pacific region.

An arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court means that the 123 member states are required to arrest and deport those who are the subject of arrest warrants. In this case, Mr Putin is prosecuted if he steps into the country’s territory, and the ICC has also not recognized the law that protects the country’s leader from being prosecuted. Where the case involves war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide

However, major countries such as China and India are not members of the ICC, while the United States and Russia withdrew in 2002 and 2016 respectively.

Vladimir Putin, Russian leader
Vladimir Putin, Russian leader

But Putin may not be arrested.

Because Russia does not accept the authority of the ICC and has a policy not to extradite civilians abroad. Therefore, Mr Putin and Ms Lova-Belova have very little chance. is sent to The Hague to be prosecuted. At least while he still has power.

and although it is true that the Rome Statute obliges its member states to transfer those arrested by the International Criminal Court to trial, but the ICC does not have its own police force. So they can only rely on the officials of the member countries. In many cases they did not comply with such obligations.

A great example is the dictator of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, one of the country’s three leaders for whom ICC warrants have been issued. and traveled to a number of ICC member countries, including Chad, Djibouti, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda, all of which refused to arrest Bashir.

Uhuru Kenyatta, Former President of Kenya He is the only person ever to stand on the International Criminal Tribunal while in office. The ICC also prosecuted former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, but in 2019 he was acquitted of all charges. After three years of trial

International Criminal Court in The Hague in the Netherlands
International Criminal Court in The Hague in the Netherlands

What are the benefits of an ICC arrest warrant?

The ICC Arrest Warrant may not Lead to the Arrest of Mr Putin But it is considered significant in many ways. both as a signal to the Russian authorities whether in the military or civilian sectors that they may be at risk of being prosecuted now or in the future and may even limit their ability to travel abroad. or attend an international conference

and as stated above Mr Putin may not be arrested or sent to prosecute as long as he is in power. But future Russian leaders may decide that sending him to The Hague could have more political benefits than protecting him.

Something like this happened to Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia. Accused of a number of war crimes in the war in Kosovo, in 2001 a power struggle began in Serbia. After Mr. Milosevic was out of power by Soran Jindish, Prime Minister at that time It was decided to ignore a court order prohibiting extradition. and decided to send Mr. Milosevic to the Hague

As a result, Milosevic was arrested. The Yugoslav government was under pressure to decide whether to deport the former leader. or losing economic support from the United States and loans from the IMF and the World Bank.

Author: Thitchon Sawangsri

Source: Reuters, the guardian

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