Russia has placed the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) on a wanted list in response to the court issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian state-run media reported.
RIA Novosti reported on Saturday that British prosecutor Karim Khan was placed on the list by the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry, having been charged with “bringing a knowingly innocent person to criminal liability” and “unlawful accusation of a person of committing a grave or especially grave crime.”
The charges filed against Khan are felonies, according to Politico.
The Russian government opened criminal cases against Khan and ICC judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez in March. This was just days after the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and another top Russian official over alleged war crimes pertaining to the illegal forced deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia amid the war.
Putin has denied that war crimes are being committed in the conflict, and Russia has said its program is designed to save children who have been abandoned where the conflict zone is, Reuters reported.
RIA reported that the judges were charged with deliberate unlawful detention and preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state.
The other official that ICC has issued an arrest warrant for is Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, who serves as commissioner for children’s rights in the Russian president’s office. Authorities have alleged that she “bears individual criminal responsibility” for her role in the deportation scheme.
Putin is unlikely to be brought into an international court of law to face the charges against him, but the warrant was still a major denunciation of Putin on an international level.
Russia does not accept the ICC’s authority, but the court has argued it can charge Russian officials because Ukraine has accepted its jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed by Russia in Ukrainian territory.
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