Former UN chief prosecutor calls for international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin as she says Russian President is a ‘war criminal’

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Former UN chief prosecutor calls for international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin as she says Russian President is a 'war criminal'

Carla Del Ponte, a former UN chief prosecutor has called for an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the former UN chief prosecutor, Russian President was a ‘war criminal’ owing to his actions in Ukraine.

Ms. Del Ponte was in charge of prosecutions of war crime tribunals for the UN in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

‘Putin is a war criminal,’ she told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps in an interview published on Saturday.

She said she was particularly shocked by the use of mass graves in Russia’s war on Ukraine, which recalls the worst of the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

‘I hoped never to see mass graves again,’ she told the newspaper Blick.

‘These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what’s become of them. That is unacceptable.’

Other war crimes she identified in Ukraine include attacks on civilians, the destruction of civilian buildings and even the demolishing of entire villages. She also said the investigation in Ukraine would be easier than that in Yugoslavia because the country itself had requested an international probe.

The current International Criminal Court (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 Mr 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.

Ms Del Ponte said investigations should be carried out into possible war crimes committed by both sides, pointing also to reports about the alleged torture of some Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian forces.

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