The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on Monday for Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, his son and his intelligence chief for the Libyan government's brutal crackdown on protesters.
Qaddafi is accused of "orchestrating the killing, injuring, arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of civilians during the first 12 days of an uprising to topple him," the Associated Press reports. The court also issued warrants for his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, and spy chief Abdullah Senussi for alleged crimes against humanity.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo presented a 74-page collection of evidence to request warrants from the court on May 16. The documents provide an extensive account of the regime's alleged murder and prosecution, implicating Qaddafi and his right-hand man, Senussi, in planning the crackdown and issuing orders to attack protesters. Saif al-Islam is accused of helping to organize the recruitment of mercenaries who, among other brutal tactics, used snipers to take out protesters and attacked civilians in their homes, al Jazeera reports.
"State policy was designed at the highest level of the state machinery, and aimed at quelling by any means, including by the use of lethal force, demonstrations of civilians against the regime," Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng said at the Hague on Monday, according to al Jazeera.
Qaddafi and his inner circle enacted "a policy of widespread and systematic attacks against civilians and demonstrators and dissidents in particular," Moreno-Ocampo said in his submission.
All U.N. member states are now required to arrest Qaddafi if he attempts to seek exile in their countries, but the only other arrest warrant the ICC issued for a sitting head of state, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, has yet to be enforced.
Earlier this month, Moreno-Ocampo said investigators uncovered evidence that Qaddafi ordered mass rapes and bought “Viagra-type” medicines to give to troops to carry them out. Amid reports of hundreds of women attacked, new charges of mass rapes may be requested following the new evidence, Agence-France Presse reported.