On 4 July 2018, the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) issued a second warrant of arrest for Mr. Al-Werfalli, a commander in the Al-Saiqa Brigade, based in Benghazi, Libya.
In August 2017, the judges of the ICC found reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Al-Werfalli is responsible for 7 separate rounds of executions, in which a total of 33 people were murdered, and issued a warrant of arrest against him. Despite this warrant, Mr. Al-Werfalli remained at large and allegedly continued to commit crimes.
The second warrant, just issued by the Court’s judges, for an eighth incident in which another 10 persons were allegedly executed in front of the Baya’at al-Radwan mosque on 24 January of this year, sends an important and urgent message – these crimes must stop, and their alleged perpetrators must be held accountable.
By investigating the crimes and requesting the issuance of arrest warrants against Mr. Al Werfalli, my Office is doing its part. The Libyan authorities and ICC States Parties must do theirs by taking all the necessary and possible steps to immediately arrest and surrender the suspect into the custody of the Court.
In accordance with the Rome Statute, the judges of the Court will independently and impartially assess the evidence to determine his guilt or innocence. For the sake of the women, men and children across Libyan territory who continue to be at risk of violent crimes, the era of impunity in Libya must come to an end. We can only hope to deter further atrocities in Libya if justice is effectively done and is seen to be done. The suspect must be arrested and surrendered to the Court without further delay.