Could Vladimir Putin be arrested?
The likelihood of Putin facing trial at the International Criminal Court is low – but not impossible.
The ICC has no powers to arrest suspects itself – and can only exercise jurisdiction within countries that are signed up to its agreement.
But bold legal move will obligate the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory.
Stephen Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues under former president Barack Obama, said: “This makes Putin a pariah.
“If he travels he risks arrest. This never goes away. Russia cannot gain relief from sanctions without compliance with the warrants.”
Ken Roth, the former executive director of Human Rights Watch, previously said history has shown that dictators who try to evade international arrest warrants eventually get their comeuppance.
“Even if not today, there will come a time when, in all likelihood, Putin will be charged as the ultimate commander-in-chief presiding over the Kremlin’s war-crime strategy,” he told the i.
“Putin may calculate that he can sit tight in the Kremlin and never have to worry about ICC prosecution, but that would require him to become president-for-life – a difficult goal to sustain.
“Putin may calculate that he can sit tight in the Kremlin and never have to worry about ICC prosecution, but that would require him to become president-for-life – a difficult goal to sustain.”
Jonathan Leader Maynard, a lecturer in international politics at King’s College London, said the warrant is unlikely to bother Putin.
He told the BBC the ICC “relies on cooperation from governments to actually arrest people, and the Russian government is obviously not going to cooperate in this respect”.
But he said it could impact Putin’s freedom to travel around the world as other nations could assist with his arrest.
It’s unlikely Putin will be extradited as it’s not an ICC signatory.
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