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Which leaders are on the ICC’s most wanted list?

THE prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) applied for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence chief and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes.

If those requests are granted the Israeli and Hamas leaders would join a list of war crime suspects who remain at large from the court in The Hague.

Here is an overview of the most high-profile names among them.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN

The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2023, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.

The Kremlin has called the move meaningless and has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during the invasion of its neighbour.

Putin was the third serving president to be served with an ICC arrest warrant, after Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

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SUDANESE FORMER PRESIDENT OMAR BASHIR

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir in 2009, accusing him of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, where an estimated 300,000 people were killed and more than 2 million displaced.

Bashir and some of his allies were jailed in Sudan after a popular uprising in 2019, but were never sent to The Hague.

The army said the former dictator was moved from prison to a military hospital in April last year.

READ:  $1.4-billion in Bashir-era assets returned to govt

UGANDAN WARLORD JOSEPH KONY

Kony, the founder and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is the ICC’s longest-standing fugitive. An arrest warrant was issued for him in 2005.

ICC judges earlier this year took the unprecedented decision to allow prosecutors to bring a hearing on charges against him in absentia.

The prosecution wants to charge Kony with 36 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, using child soldiers, sexual slavery, forced marriage and forced pregnancy.

SAIF AL-ISLAM GADDAFI

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for the son of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 along with his father, who was captured and shot in October that year.

Days after his father was killed, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was caught by fighters from Zintan, where he remained in captivity until he was released under an amnesty law in 2017.

In recent years, he has tried to run in presidential elections in Libya, which were postponed in 2021 and have not been held since.

In an odd twist, the current ICC prosecutor Karim Khan was the younger Gaddafi’s defence lawyer at the ICC for a little over a year until withdrew in 2018. Khan became the ICC’s lead prosecutor in 2021.

By The African Mirror

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