Putin is war criminal; issue global arrest warrant against him: Ex-UN prosecutor

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There should be an international arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is a ‘war criminal’, the former chief prosecutor of United Nations war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda has said.

Carla Del Ponte, during an interview to the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, said Russia under Putin has committed war crimes in Ukraine. Ponte, marking the release of her book, said she was particularly shocked by the use of mass graves in Ukraine.

The Swiss layer, who oversaw U.N. investigations in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, told the newspaper Blick that she hoped never to see mass graves again. “These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what’s become of them. That is unacceptable.”

She said Putin has attacked civilians in Ukraine, he destroyed civilian buildings and even the demolished entire villages, which are also the war crimes.

She said the investigation in Ukraine would be easier than that in Yugoslavia because the country itself had requested an international probe.

The current ICC chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, visited Ukraine last month.

If the ICC finds proof of war crimes, she said, “you must go up the chain of command until you reach those who took the decisions.”

She said it would be possible to bring even Putin to account.

“You mustn’t let go, continue to investigation. When the investigation into Slobodan Milosevic began, he was still president of Serbia. Who would have thought then that he would one day be judged? Nobody,” she told Blick.

She also called for probe into war crimes committed on both sides, indicating about the alleged torture of some Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian forces.

With AP inputs

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