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South Africa should do "right thing" if Putin comes to BRICS summit – ICC chief prosecutor

Saturday, 15 July 2023, 02:54
South Africa should do right thing if Putin comes to BRICS summit – ICC chief prosecutor
Karim Khan, Photo: ICC-CPI.INT

South Africa must do the "right thing" and abide by international law if Russian President Vladimir Putin personally attends the BRICS summit in Johannesburg next month.

Source: Karim Khan, International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor, in an interview with CNN

Quote: "South Africa has felt a crime against humanity for decades, the crime of apartheid, I don't think they need lessons from me. 


They are voluntarily a state party to the ICC, they know what the law is, and I think they would do the right thing. And we will assess what actually happens at the BRICS summit and respond accordingly."

Details: In March, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Affairs, for committing the war crime of illegal deportation of Ukrainian children. 

Since the court does not hold trials in absentia, Putin must either be extradited by Moscow or arrested outside Russia.

Most of the world's countries, 123, are parties to the treaty, and the ICC statute provides that all participating states have a legal obligation to cooperate with the court, including executing arrest warrants.

However, South Africa, the country hosting this year's BRICS meeting, has granted diplomatic immunity to all participants, meaning Putin might be able to travel to the country despite the ICC warrant for his arrest.

Background: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says Vladimir Putin will attend the BRICS summit in August in person; the Kremlin says it has not yet decided.

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