Russia issues arrest warrant for ICC prosecutor Karim Khan

Move comes after Hague-based court ordered the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian authorities that issued a arrest warrant for ICC prosecutor Karim Khan did not specify his alleged offence. Reuters
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Russia has issued an arrest warrant for the International Criminal Court prosecutor who in March prepared a warrant for President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges.

British prosecutor Karim Khan was added to the Interior Ministry's wanted database.

The notice described him as a man born on March 30, 1970, in Edinburgh, Scotland, but did not specify his alleged offence.

Moscow opened cases against Mr Khan and three ICC judges on March 20, days after the order for Mr Putin's arrest.

The ICC and its office of the prosecutor had no immediate comment.

The ICC warrant orders the arrest of Putin and Russia's ombudsman for children's rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, on war crimes charges related to the abduction of Ukrainian children.

Russia has not concealed a programme under which it has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia but presents it as a humanitarian campaign to protect those abandoned in the conflict zone.

Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said in March that Mr Khan was being probed for the "criminal prosecution of a person known to be innocent".

He was also being investigated for allegedly preparing "an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection", investigators said.

Kyiv says more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the beginning of Moscow's offensive in February 2022, with many allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes.

Russia, which is not a member of the ICC, has said the warrant is "void".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has hailed the court's move as a "historic decision from which historic responsibility will begin".

US President Joe Biden said the arrest warrant for Putin was "justified".

The US is not a member of the ICC.

Updated: May 19, 2023, 6:01 PM