United Nations investigators long accused Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and his security forces of war crimes, but now Libya’s rebels affirm to have written proof.
The Guardian reports: “Thousands of documents are supposedly being kept safely hidden in the besieged port city of Misrata which, among other things, allegedly contain written orders to bombard and starve the people of that city.”
Among many horrific items contained in the documents, the worst might be an alleged message from Qaddafi himself, which orders his troops to obliterate Misrata and have the “blue sea turned red” with the blood of its inhabitants, according to The Observer.
Another document reportedly contains an order from one of Qaddafi’s generals Youssef Ahmed Basheer Abu Hajar which states: “It is absolutely forbidden for supply cars, fuel and other services to enter the city of Misrata from all gates and checkpoints.” Another documents contain instructions for army units to hunt down wounded rebel fighters.
At the beginning of June, a three-member panel of United Nations investigators have received estimates of approximetely 10,000-15,000 people murders since February, and added there is evidence that opposition forces also committed “some acts which would constitute war crimes.”
The panel based its finds on interviews with people in government and rebel-held parts of Libya, as well as in refugee camps in neighboring countries.
Prosecutors from the International Criminal Court said they want to see the files, stored in Misrata, to conclude if the orders breach the Geneva Convention.
The court’s prosecutors are expected to travel to the city to view the documents once the daily bombardments have ceased.It is suggested that Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi could be indicted for crimes against humanity once the fighting is over.
Now it is not clear whether newly found documents can be used in any criminal proceedings against the Libyan leader, or whether Qaddafi would ever submit to a trial at the ICC, which is not recognized by several nations.
Khalid Alwab, a Misrata war crimes investigator, told the Observer: “From what we have here, the case is already proved. All the evidence is here. Signed and stamped.”
The documents have to be revealed to the ICC, according to the 60-strong team of Libyan lawyers. “We are ready to show them to the ICC.They are free to contact us,”-stated Alwafi.[via CBS News, The Independent and The Guardian (UK)]