ICC president insists Putin will face justice over Ukraine war crimes


The new International Criminal Court (ICC) president, Tomoko Akane, from Japan, expressed her belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin will face justice for war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine, the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported on Wednesday, citing an interview the ICC judge gave to Kyodo News.

“Heaven’s vengeance is slow but sure,” Akane reportedly said of Putin potentially standing trial.

The ICC announced 67-year-old Akane as the newly elected ICC president earlier this month, who will serve from 2024 to 2027. Akane was elected alongside ICC First Vice-President Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, from Italy, and ICC Second Vice-President Judge Reine Alapini-Gansau from Benin.

Issuing arrest warrants 

The article acknowledged the unlikelihood of Russia handing over Putin but said that the Russian president could be arrested if he entered any ICC states.

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“As long as there is evidence and a need, we must issue (the arrest warrant) no matter the circumstances or political background,” Akane said while addressing Russia’ backlash on the decision.

Earlier this month, the ICC issued arrest warrants to two high-ranking Russian military officials, according to the source. The officials had been targeted after allegations they attacked Ukrainian electric infrastructure and other civilian objects.

Despite issuing warrants, Akane acknowledged that the ICC had failed to make any arrests over the last two years.

“There are many cases that require a response,” she said.

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