Russia adds another ICC judge on its wanted list
The International Criminal Court (ICC on Tuesday condemned Moscow for putting another of its judges on a wanted list in Russia, after the court issued an arrest warrant for the country’s President Vladimir Putin.
ICC Judge Tomoko Akane issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March for the war crime of allegedly unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children, as well as for Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova over similar charges.
Russian news agency TASS reported last week that Akane was the latest target of an arrest warrant in Russia following ICC prosecutor Karim Khan and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, who have been investigated since May over the decision to seek Putin’s arrest over the Ukraine war.
Read:Russia puts ICC prosecutor Khan on ‘wanted’ list
The Russian notice seen by AFP describes the judge as a woman born June 28, 1956, in Japan, and says she is wanted for violating the Russian Criminal Code, without specifically listing the nature of the offence.
The presidency of the Assembly of States Parties, representing the ICC’s member countries, said it was “deeply concerned” by the move and called it a “new attempt to undermine the international mandate” of the court.
It also reiterated “it stands firmly by the Court, its elected officials, and its personnel” and has “full confidence” in the court’s independence and impartiality.
The warrant against Putin and Lvova-Belova accuse the pair of committing war crimes for having “illegally deported” thousands of Ukrainian children since invading the country in February 2022, accusations which Moscow has rejected.
Russia — which is not a member of the ICC — does not recognise the warrant against Putin, calling it “illegal”.
Read:Russia opens case against ICC
Putin will not be participating in person in the upcoming BRICS summit this month in Johannesburg as a result of the warrant, as ICC member South Africa would be obliged to detain the Russian leader if he enters its territory.