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ICC arrest warrant against Putin valid for life, says chief prosecutor

The arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin is valid for life, according to International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan.

“There is no statute of limitations for war crimes,” Khan told BBC Radio 4 on Monday, adding that the ICC’s arrest warrant remains valid even after Russia’s war on Ukraine ends.

The ICC’s action is based on one of the principles of the post-World War II Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, he said. “Individuals – wherever they are in the world – need to recognize that the law exists and that with authority comes responsibility,” Khan added.

The warrants would pin Putin and Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the rest of their lives, according to Khan.

“Unless they face the court’s independent judges, and the judges decide on the merits to dismiss a case – but otherwise: absolutely, yes,” Khan said when asked about the lifelong validity of the arrest warrant.

On Friday, the ICC issued arrest warrants against Putin and his representative for the rights of the child.

The ICC accused Putin of being “responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and unlawful transfer of the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

The court said there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that Putin bore “individual criminal responsibility” for the crimes alleged.

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