The Russian Investigative Committee (RIC) announced on Sunday charges in absentia of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Khan Karim Asad Ahmad and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala. Ahmad and Aitala issued arrest warrants in March for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova on war crimes committed during the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian Investigative committee stated Ahmad would be prosecuted under the Russian Criminal Code for “criminal prosecution of a person known to be innocent, as well as preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations.” Aitala was charged under the Russian Criminal Code for “knowingly illegal detention and preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations.”These charges have come as a result of the RIC’s investigation of the ICC, which has also targeted ICC Prosecutor Kharim Khan and Judges Tomoko Akane and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. Ahmad and Aitala have been added to Russia’s wanted list, along with Khan who was added Friday.The ICC has alleged that Putin and Lvova-Belova are responsible for the “forced deportation” and “unlawful transfer” of Ukrainian children and issued arrest warrants on 17 March. Concern regarding the “intimidation” tactics of the Russian Federation Authorities on the ICC has been noted, with the Presidency of the Assembly of the States Parties to the Rome Statute expressing their support for the judges and prosecutors of the ICC.
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