Russia has issued an arrest warrant for the International Criminal Court (ICC) head judge who in March issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges, Russian media reported on Friday.
The British judge, Karim Ahmed Khan, was added to the Interior Ministry’s wanted list, Russia media said, citing the ministry’s database.
Moscow opened cases against Ahmed Khan and three other ICC judges on March 20, days after the order for Putin’s arrest.
The ICC warrant orders the arrest of Putin and Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, for war crimes charges relating to the abduction of Ukrainian children.
Khan is being charged with multiple felonies, including knowingly prosecuting an innocent, pressing unlawful felony charges, and organizing an attack on a head of state aimed at destabilizing international relations.
Similar or related allegations have been made about other ICC judges.
Russia and Putin deny any war crimes during the invasion of Ukraine, saying they are victims of Western aggression and lies.
Reports by the UN and multiple human rights agencies have detailed a ‘vast network’ of detention facilities and convoys in which civilians are systematically forced out of their homes by invading Russian soldiers.
Allegations include children, the elderly and people with disabilities being separated from their families, as well as detainees being beaten, electrocuted and threatened with execution.
In its warrant, the International Criminal Court (ICC) says there are ‘reasonable grounds to believe that President Putin bears individual criminal responsibility’ for the ‘unlawful transfer’ and ‘unlawful deportation’ of people.
The chances of the pair willingly appearing before the ICC are virtually nil, but the warrant means they would be arrested if they ever set foot in any of the 123 countries which have signed up to its laws.
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