UNITED NATIONS —The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said she is collecting evidence for filing possible new war crimes charges against supporters and opponents of Moammar Gadhafi during last year’s Libyan civil war.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she expects to decide soon on “the direction” of a possible new case that could see the first charges stemming from the Libyan civil war since the ICC issued arrest warrants for Gadhafi, his son and heir-apparent Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi in May 2011. They were accused of committing crimes against humanity by targeting civilians in a crackdown against rebels that led to the Libyan leader’s ouster and death.
Libya has challenged the ICC’s right to try Seif al-Islam. Bensouda said she doesn’t expect the tribunal’s judges to take too long to decide whether he should be prosecuted at the court in The Hague, Netherlands, or in his home country.
“I think they will ... consider giving clarity to the parties and participants as soon as possible,” she said.
In a wide-ranging interview, Bensouda also discussed the importance of capturing the infamous African warlord Joseph Kony, her recent visit to Kenya to seek cooperation in the upcoming trial of four prominent Kenyans for crimes stemming from the country’s 2007-08 post-election violence and her frustration at being unable to act in response to the ongoing attacks on civilians.
Bensouda was at U.N. headquarters to give her first briefing on ICC activities in Libya to the Security Council since she took over the prosecutor’s job from Luis Moreno-Ocampo in June. The council referred the Libyan uprising against Gadhafi to the court in February 2011.