Apr 3, 2022 - World

Former UN prosecutor calls for international arrest warrant for Putin

Members of the UN commission of inquiry on Syria Italy's Carla Del Ponte gives a press conference, on September 3, 2015 at the United Nations building in Geneva.
Carla Del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor of United Nations war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP via Getty Images

A former United Nations chief prosecutor has called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.

What she's saying: "Putin is a war criminal," said Carla Del Ponte, who was head of the war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, in an interview with Swiss newspaper Le Temps, published Saturday.

  • Del Ponte said if the ICC issued an arrest warrant, it would signal "that investigative work has been done," according to a Sky News translation.
  • "It is the only instrument that exists that makes it possible to arrest the perpetrator of a war crime and bring them before the ICC," she added.

Meanwhile, Del Ponte told Swiss paper Blick in a separate interview Saturday that she found Russian forces' reported use of mass graves shocking and a reminder of similar atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, per a Politico translation.

  • "I hoped never to see mass graves again," the 75-year-old Swiss national said. "These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what's become of them. That is unacceptable."
  • Representatives for the ICC did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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