ICC war crime requests for Syria "untimely" - Russian official
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A senior Russian official indicated on Tuesday that Moscow would not immediately back calls to refer suspected war criminals in Syria to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.
United Nations investigators said on Monday that Syrian leaders they had identified as suspected war criminals should face the ICC.
But Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, whose country is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told a news conference that this was "not the path we should follow ... at this stage it would be untimely and unconstructive."
Because Syria is not party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, the only way the court can investigate the situation is if it receives a referral from the Security Council, where Moscow is a permanent member.
Gatilov said ending violence was the immediate priority in Syria and that allegations of human rights violations should not be directed only at one side.
Moscow has blocked three U.N. Security Council resolutions that would have increased pressure on Damascus to end the violence which has seen nearly 70,000 people killed in an uprising that is almost two years old.
The investigators on Monday urged the U.N. Security Council to "act urgently to ensure accountability" for violations, including murder and torture, committed by both sides.
(Reporting By Gabriela Baczynska, Writing by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- U.S.-led air strikes killed 521 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria - monitor
- Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox"
- Apple CEO says to add 25 stores in China within two years - Sina
- Japan PM's new minister hit by scandal over racy bar bill
- India hope to get boxer Sarita Devi's suspension reversed
A gunman attacked Canada's parliament on Wednesday, with shots fired near where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking, and a soldier was killed at a nearby war memorial, stunning the Canadian capital. Full Article | Main Story
U.S.-led air strikes killed 553 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria - monitor. Full Article