The arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC) against Russian President Vladimir Putin will remain valid even if Russia’s war against Ukraine ends.
Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan explained this on BBC Radio 4 on Monday. “There is no statute of limitations for war crimes.”
The arrest warrant was issued because of Putin’s responsibility for war crimes committed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion. According to chief prosecutor Karim Khan, the arrest warrants against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, will remain hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives.
“Unless they appear before the independent judges of the court and the judges on the merits decide to dismiss a case.”
The arrest warrants have a symbolic meaning, and a trial seems to be excluded for now. However, British lawyer Geoffey Nice, chief prosecutor for former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, said the arrest warrant identifies Putin as a wanted criminal.
“The label will stick for the rest of his life unless he is tried and acquitted or, almost inconceivably, the ICC withdraws the warrant,” Nice told Sky News. “The arrest warrant is a crucial and welcome step.”