International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Putin: Declared guilty of kidnapping Ukrainian children; but it is difficult to arrest

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Court said- Putin has committed war crimes in Ukraine. He is responsible for the crime of kidnapping and deportation of Ukrainian children. However, Russia has denied the allegations of war crimes.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said – legally this arrest warrant has no meaning for Russia. Because Russia is not a part of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In fact, 123 countries had signed an agreement establishing the court. Russia did not sign. For this reason, Russia does not accept any decision of ICC.

Also Read What is war crime?

Difficult to arrest Putin

ICC does not have the powers to arrest the leader of any country. This is because it does not have any police force of its own. According to International Law, the ICC can indict the leader of any country, issue an arrest warrant against them, but depends on countries around the world to arrest them.

In such a situation, Putin’s arrest can be done in only 2 ways.

First- Putin should be extradited.

Second- he should be arrested in any other country outside Russia, which does not seem possible.

Legally, however, this does present Mr Putin with a problem.

While he is the head of a G20 state, and about to shake hands with China’s Xi Jinping in an historic meeting, Mr Putin is now also a wanted man, and this will inevitably place restrictions on which countries he can visit.

There is also a level of embarrassment for the Kremlin, which has always denied allegations of Russian war crimes, that such an influential, pan-national body as the ICC simply does not believe its denials.

Legal Maxim

ICC said – Putin did not stop the kidnapping of children

The ICC said it had reasonable grounds to believe that Putin not only committed these crimes, but also assisted others in them. The court said – Putin did not use his rights to prevent the kidnapping of children. They didn’t stop others who were deporting children, didn’t take action.

On 24 February 2022, Putin attacked Ukraine. Shortly thereafter ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine. The war between the two countries is still going on.

Warrant issued against Russian child rights commissioner

An arrest warrant has also been issued against Russia’s Child Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova. Russian troops have been accused of kidnapping Ukrainian children several times since the start of the war. Russia has denied these allegations but has never denied that children are being sent to Russia.

Maria Lvova-Belova has always described this work of Russia as a patriotic and humanitarian effort. They say Russian families are adopting Ukrainian children rendered homeless by the war.

What is the Internal Criminal Court (ICC)?

The ICC, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, was established under a 1998 treaty called the “Rome Statute” . It “investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.”

Presently, 123 countries are party to the Rome Statute, including Britain, Japan, Afghanistan, and Germany. However, the USA has kept its distance, maintaining that ICC should not exercise jurisdiction over citizens of countries that are not a party to it. Similarly, India and China have also abstained from membership.

The ICC was established to prosecute the most heinous offenses only when a country’s own legal machinery fails to act, as was the case in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Unlike the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which deals with countries and inter-state disputes, the ICC prosecutes individuals. However, the ICC’s jurisdiction is limited to offences occurring after it came into effect on July 1, 2002. The ICC can also practice its jurisdiction over cases referred by the UN Security Council to it.

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