Libya: ICC Prosecutor Outlines Roadmap to Complete Libya War Crimes Probe

14 May 2024

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced at the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the investigative stage of the legal proceedings into alleged war crimes in Libya is expected to conclude by the end of 2025, transitioning into the judicial stage.

That "roadmap", Prosecutor Karim Khan explained, details a focused set of activities over the next 18 months and beyond "to significantly expand the impact of our action" in Libya.

Once the investigative phase is complete, the focus will shift to judicial proceedings, including tracking and arresting fugitives and conducting trials, as well as strengthening engagement with Libyan authorities and international partners.

Mr. Khan emphasized that the roadmap provides tangible and meaningful steps towards justice for Libyan victims, rather than mere rhetoric.

"Crucially, the roadmap is something that the victims in Libya can look to not as 'hot air' or a 'spin', but something impactful and meaningful to advance their right to justice."

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan briefing the Security Council.

For the Libyan people

He added that it would also represent an opportunity to "meaningfully deliver" on Security Council resolution 1970 (2011), which referred the situation in Libya to the ICC.

Mr. Khan also stressed the necessity of sustained and enhanced cooperation from Libyan authorities and the international community.

"We need to work shoulder to shoulder together, not for our own individual interests or the interests of the ICC or for a government, but for the interests of humanity and the people of Libya."

Towards that end, he highlighted "positive news", including the issuance of multiple entry visas for ICC officials as well as the arrival of forensic experts in the country.

Not driven by political interests

ICC Prosecutor Khan concluded by urging the international community to seize this moment to renew commitment to international criminal justice.

He emphasized that the ICC's work is not driven by political interests but by a dedication to uphold the principle of equality before the law, and to protect the vulnerable.

"When one looks at Libya, when one looks at other situations in the world - whether it is Ukraine or whether it is Palestine, or whether it is the Rohingya, or whether it is any other place one wishes to look at - we see issues."

He underscored that the Rome Statute, the Geneva Conventions, customary international law and the UN Charter "are part of the tapestry of civilization" and that "every human life matters equally", rule of law must apply in every situation - be it Libya or other crises.

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