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ICC to decide on Gaddafi arrest warrant

Meanwhile, the NATO bombardment of the country has entered its symbolic 100th day.

Gaddafi reads his Green Book.
Gaddafi reads his Green Book.
Image: NASSER NASSER/AP/Press Association Images

JUDGES AT THE International Criminal Court will today decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for crimes against humanity.

The court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has asked for warrants to be issued for the arrest of Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam and the head of Libyan intelligence Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity against opponents of the regime.

Earlier this month, the prosecutor said there was evidence that Gaddafi was ordering the rape of hundreds of women as a weapon against opposition forces. He said there was possible evidence that government forces were being given drugs to enhance their sex drive.

A decision by the three judge panel at The Hague is expected at 11am, BBC News reports, as the NATO operation in Libya entered its 100th day. There were fresh strikes on the Libyan capital of Tripoli overnight.

Yesterday fighting was focused just 30 kilometres south of Zawiya, in an important western gateway to Tripoli, according to AP.

Rebels control the east of the country and pockets in the west including the Nafusa mountains but taking the capital Tripoli will require the overthrowing of Gaddafi and is seen as much more difficult to achieve.

Opposition forces seized Zawiya back in March but were eventually overthrown by Gaddafi’s better armed forces.

Separately, yesterday it was reported that the African Union panel on Libya has said that Gaddafi has agreed to stay out of talks aimed at ending the conflict.

Al Jazeera reports that the AU is calling for an immediate end to hostilities in Libya in order to move dialogue forward.

The move to keep Gaddafi out of the talks is seen as a removal of a major obstacle to peace, but rebel leaders remain insistent that Gaddafi must leave office and appear reluctant to negotiate with him or anyone within his inner circle.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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