Hague Court Wants Gaddafi Arrested But Why Now?

The Castro brothers appear undaunted in the face of 52 years of accusations and even as new ones surface depicting violent assaults on Cuban dissidents. But today the Hague’s International Criminal Court prosecutor has called for arrest warrants on Lybia’s Gaddafi and his son for crimes against humanity. According to a quote from the Los Angeles Times, they are accused of “attacking Libyan civilians in their homes and in the public space…” which is no different than that of which Cuban dissidents have been accusing the Castros.

According to Hague Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Gaddafi is also accused of having shot “demonstrators with live ammunition, used heavy weaponry against participants in funeral processions and placed snipers to kill those leaving mosques after the prayers,…”

Similarities between Gaddafi’s and Castro’s regime are impossible to overlook.

Other than having been accused for over eight thousand executions and disappearances, the Castro regime is now also being held responsible by dissidents for Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s death in 2010 and for Wilfredo Soto assassination on May 8, 2011. Mr. Zapata Tamayo died on on a hunger strike while in the custody of the Cuban regime. Mr. Wilfredo Soto was allegedly severely beaten by Cuba’s political police three days before his death.

Quoted by the Associated Press, Hague Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo presented it like this:

“Gadhafi’s forces prepare lists with names of alleged dissidents. They are being arrested, put into prisons in Tripoli, tortured and made to disappear.”

But why is he prosecuting Gaddafi now, after 41 years of dictatorship?

According to the Wall Street Journal exiles played a decisive role.

“A network of exiles had delivered the most credible evidence, said officials who worked with Mr. Moreno-Ocampo….His team has interviewed some 50 people, collected 1,200 documents, and traveled to 11 countries…”

In addition, and possibly more importantly, the New York Times reported that high level officials had provided evidence.

The request, accompanied by a 74-page dossier detailing the alleged crimes, was bolstered by information from “high-level officials in Gaddafi’s regime” who contacted The Hague in the past week, prosecutors said.

It thus also seems that Gaddafi’s own senior officers turned him in. Could it be that they were quite reasonably afraid of otherwise being implicated themselves?

The Washington Post further reported that there is evidence that Gaddafi “ordered the assaults.”

“The evidence shows that Moammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians,” chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said. “We have such strong evidence, direct evidence of their involvement in the crimes,” he said of Gaddafi, his son and the intelligence chief. He called Senussi an “executioner.”

According to the Associated Press, Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch warned:

“The ICC prosecutor’s request acts as a warning bell to others that serious crimes will not go unpunished,” said . “It’s a message to those responsible for grave abuses that they will be held to account for their actions.”