The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court says an investigation will be launched into war crimes allegedly committed by NATO in Libya. Alliance members will be investigated alongside former rebels and Gaddafi loyalists.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP and member of the Stop the War Coalition, says the operation in Libya was under forensic media examination from the very beginning. Plus, very credible reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about abuses of civilians by both Gaddafi forces and the NTC added to ICC’s interest in the case.
“[There also were] very disturbing reports about the treatment of African mercenaries or African workers who were in Libya at the time of the bombing by the NATO forces,” he said. “I think there are going to be some very serious investigations undertaken. Interestingly, Russia has demanded that the ICC investigate all aspects of this particular conflict and all allegations.”
Speaking of NATO, Corbyn believes that they will most likely say that it was a war and incidents do happen and no doubt there will be people who defended Colonel Gaddafi who will say the opposite.
Corbyn states that it is essential that there is a thorough investigation into this matter as well as into the killing of Colonel Gaddafi himself. “This was not meant to be a war for regime change and it certainly was not intended for the assassination of Gaddafi,” he stressed.
He goes on to point out that NATO cannot say it was undertaking a humanitarian bombing campaign, as it has claimed. He says if civilian targets were attacked and if civilians died, then those are war crimes and the ICC must investigate.
“I suspect the politicians who decided on the NATO campaign, will say it was a military decision taken by the commanders on the spot. I would imagine they would try to shift the responsibility onto them rather than take it upon themselves. I don’t think they will be investigating Sarkozy or Cameron any time soon,” he said.
”The bombing campaign that took place in Iraq was directed from outside any ICC country during the time the bombing took place. This wasn’t. It will make a difference – that is the whole point of the ICC that it makes the commanders and the politicians absolutely responsible for the decisions they take and for the deaths that follow.”