International Criminal Court to Prioritise Libya

12.       I also noted that my Office was closely monitoring this situation.

13.       In the following months, my Office continued to receive credible information of grave crimes allegedly perpetrated in Libya, including in Benghazi.

14.       Based on the evidence of these alleged crimes committed in and around Benghazi, on 1 August 2017, I applied for a warrant of arrest for Major Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli. On 15 August 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the Court granted the application and issued a warrant for his arrest.

15.       The suspect, Mr al-Werfalli, is a commander in the Al-Saiqa Brigade, a Benghazi-based Special Forces unit that has been active in the LNA's Operation Dignity since May 2014.

16.       Based on the evidence collected, we allege that Mr al-Werfalli is responsible for the war crime of murder in relation to six unlawful executions that allegedly took place in or around Benghazi between March and July 2017, as well as another execution that allegedly took place in or before June 2016.  These executions were filmed and posted to social media sites.

17.       Mr al-Werfalli is alleged to have ordered or personally committed the seven executions that resulted in the murder of 33 people in cold blood.

18.       My Office follows the evidence and applies the law, independently and impartially, as set by the Rome Statute, irrespective of the affiliation of the perpetrators or the victims.

19.       Since the issuance of the warrant, there have been public reports of a possible arrest and an internal investigation by the LNA into Mr al-Werfalli's actions. The LNA has officially stated that it is investigating.

20.       However, my Office has also received reports indicating that Mr al-Werfalli is at large, remains a commander with the Al-Saiqa Brigade, and may have been involved in further killings. I am investigating these reports.

Mr President, Your Excellencies,

21.       Let me stress that irrespective of any reported domestic investigation that may be underway, Libya remains under a legal obligation arising from Resolution 1970 to immediately arrest and surrender Mr al-Werfalli to the ICC.  He must be transferred to the Court to stand trial.

22.       I therefore urge General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the LNA, which has publicly expressed gratitude for the work of the Court in relation to Mr al-Werfalli's case, to demonstrate, by concrete actions, respect for international justice by ensuring Mr al-Werfalli's immediate transfer to the Libyan authorities so that he may be surrendered to the Court without delay.

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