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Former UN prosecutor calls for international arrest warrant for “war criminal” Putin

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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 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.

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  • 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 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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