Former UN chief prosecutor calls for an arrest warrant for Putin

The Associated Press reports that Carla Del Ponte, the former United Nations chief prosecutor, has just called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Del Ponte was the chief prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

She recently addressed the Russia-Ukraine conflict in an interview that she did on Saturday with the Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

“A war criminal”

During the interview, Del Ponte bluntly stated that, in her estimation, “Putin is a war criminal” for some of the acts that he has committed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Del Ponte briefly touched upon some of Putin’s war crimes. She was particularly upset with the use of mass graves, which, for her, brings back bad memories from the former Yugoslavia.

“I hoped never to see mass graves again,” she said. “These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what’s become of them. That is unacceptable.”

According to the Associated Press, Del Ponte went on to identify other likely war crimes that Putin has committed.

“Other war crimes she identified in Ukraine included attacks on civilians, the destruction of civilian buildings, and even the demolishing of entire villages,” the outlet reports.

Will it happen?

According to Del Ponte, in this particular scenario, conducting the investigation will not be a challenge. This is because, unlike some situations that Del Ponte has been involved in, here, Ukraine has called for the investigation into potential war crimes by Russia.

The question is what will happen if the investigation does find that Russia, and thus Putin, has committed war crimes.

In Del Ponte’s estimation, as unlikely as it seems, it would be possible to bring Putin to justice. Del Ponte cited as an example former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who was brought to justice after seeming untouchable.

Karim Khan, the current chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), did make a trip to Ukraine last month. The ICC is said to be currently investigating possible war crimes. The ICC has received the support of dozens of nations for such an investigation.

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