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Interpol Issues 'Red Notice' for Qaddafi

The international police organization Interpol has issued a worldwide "red notice" for former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 9/11/2011, 3:11 PM

Muammar Qaddafi
Muammar Qaddafi
A7 staff

The International Criminal Court at The Hague has asked Interpol to arrest former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi on charges of carrying out crimes against humanity.

Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocamo asked the international police organization to issue a worldwide "red notice" for the former Libyan strongman, as well as for his son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam. Also being sought on charges of war crimes is Libya's former intelligence chief, and Qaddafi's son-in-law, Abdullah Al-Senussi.

All three have disappeared.

Arrest warrants were issued for the three in June, but a "red notice" by Interpol circulates a request to all 188 United Nations member nations to arrest the suspects. Because the ICC has no police force of its own to enforce its decisions, it relies on local and national forces to execute warrants.

It is not clear, however, whether all 188 U.N. member nations are willing to cooperate with the ICC and hand over Qaddafi, even if they find him.

The Hague's Special Tribunal for Lebanon last month published indictments of four Hizbullah terrorists suspected in the 2005 assassination of former five-time Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Harir. The indictments of the four men, handed down on June 30, charged then with "conspiracy to commit a terrorist act to assassinate Hariri."

Nevertheless, the four are still at large, and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said bluntly the organization would "never" give them up.

The ICC clarified in a statement that the confirmation of an indictment did not mean that those named are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused, but rather that the case put forth has met the burden of proof required for the process, prima facie evidence.

If the accused do not appear within 30 calendar days of the public advertisements, the STL would itself appoint defense counsel to appear on their behalf if proceedings are initiated by the Trial Chamber in absentia.

Perhaps fearing more unrest in Lebanon, due to Hizbullah's current control of the government, the ICC has never publicly asked Interpol to issue a "red letter" alert on any of the four Hizbullah terrorists -- Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Oneissi, and Assad Sabra -- despite the fact that the case has dragged on for six years, and the indictment has been in place since June.