The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague expressed concern about the initiation of criminal cases in Russia against its judges and prosecutor, the court said in a press release.
“The International Criminal Court is aware of and deeply concerned about the unreasonable measures that were taken by the Russian authorities against ICC officials, in particular, the court’s prosecutor and judges,” the ICC said.
The press release also notes that the court will continue to “steadily fulfill its legitimate mandate to ensure accountability for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.”
On March 17, the Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova. Three days later, on March 20, the Investigative Committee (IC) of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case against ICC prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan under Part 2 of Art. 299, part 1 of Art. 30 h. 2 tbsp. 360 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – bringing a knowingly innocent person to criminal liability, combined with the unlawful accusation of a person of committing a grave or especially grave crime, as well as preparations for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection, in order to complicate international relations. In addition, cases were brought against ICC Judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aytala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez.
On May 11, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced the preparation of a wanted list for ICC judges, and on May 19, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs put the prosecutor on the wanted list. According to what article the prosecutor is wanted, the database of the ministry does not specify.
Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that the decisions of the International Criminal Court have no legal force and are void.
On March 25, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin called for a legislative ban on the work of the ICC in Russia and the introduction of responsibility for its support. Andrei Klishas, head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, said in response that the legislative reaction of the Russian authorities to the activities of the ICC would be unnecessary, since it is a “fictitious institution” and its decisions are void.