ICC ‘undeterred’ after Russia puts prosecutor on wanted list

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C-R) arrives at the International Criminal Court in The Hague in May 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C-R) arrives at the International Criminal Court in The Hague in May 2023

The International Criminal Court said Saturday that it was “undeterred” after Russia put prosecutor Karim Khan on a wanted list over his issuance of an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin.

“The ICC finds these measures unacceptable. The court will remain undeterred in the conduct of its lawful mandate to ensure accountability for the gravest crimes,” the Hague-based tribunal said in a statement.

Khan, a Briton, issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March on the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

The war crimes court added that it was “aware and profoundly concerned about unwarranted and unjustified coercive measures… by the authorities of the Russian Federation”.

The ICC statement urged the court’s 123 member states to “enhance their efforts to protect the court, its officials and its personnel”.

Khan’s picture could be seen in the Russian interior ministry’s database on Friday.┬áThe notice described him as a man born on March 30, 1970, in Edinburgh, Scotland, but did not specify his offence.

Russia, which is not a member of the ICC, has previously said the warrant against Putin is “void”.

The court also issued an arrest warrant against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on similar charges.

In a separate statement, the legislative body representing the member nations said it was “deeply concerned” by the measures against Khan and the court’s judges.

The presidency of the ICC Assembly of the States Parties said it “regrets these acts of intimidation and unacceptable attempts to undermine the mandate of the International Criminal Court”.

In March, Russia’s Investigative Committee said Khan was being probed for the “criminal prosecution of a person known to be innocent.”

Kyiv says more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the beginning of Moscow’s invasion in February 2022, with many allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes.

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