ICC: Gaddafi's death may be a war crime


THE RISE AND FALL OF GADDAFI: An image captured off a cellular phone camera shows the arrest of Libya's strongman Moamer Kadhafi in Sirte on October 20, 2011. A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) commander had told AFP that Kadhafi was captured as his hometown Sirte was falling, adding that the ousted strongman was badly wounded.


Philippe Desmazes

The International Criminal Court said Thursday that the death of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi may have been a war crime, Reuters reported.

"I think the way in which Mr Gaddafi was killed creates suspicions of ... war crimes," ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo reportedly said.

"We are raising this concern to the national authorities and they are preparing a plan to have a comprehensive strategy to investigate all these crimes."

Gaddafi was killed in October shortly after his hometown of Sirte fell to the National Transitional Council.

Initially, the NTC said that Gaddafi was killed in a crossfire, which would not have been a war crime.

However, mobile phone video quickly emerged showing the moment after Gaddafi was pulled from a drain pipe where he had hidden. The videos show Gaddafi, alive, being beaten by NTC forces or rebels.

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The NTC has since promised to investigated how both Gaddafi and his son Mo'tassim Gaddafi were killed.

Moreno-Ocampo said Thursday that he has sent a letter to the NTC asking how the government plans to investigate war crimes committed by all sides involved in the conflict, the Associated Press reported.

He said what the ICC does on Gaddafi's death and other war crimes will depend on what Libya's interim government does, because under the Rome statute that established the war crimes tribunal, the ICC only steps in if national authorities are unwilling or unable to act.