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The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor told CNN he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could stand trial for alleged crimes committed during Russia’s war in Ukraine, despite Moscow’s arguments that it is not subject to the court’s decisions.
He was speaking after the ICC issued its arrest warrant for Putin for an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
Russia is among several leading nations not to have signed the treaty that brought the court into existence. Given this, it is highly unlikely Putin would be handed over to the court's jurisdiction.
But in an interview with CNN’s Clarissa Ward, Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan pointed to historic trials of Nazi war criminals, former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević, and former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, as examples of seemingly untouchable figures who faced justice.
“All of them were mighty, powerful individuals and yet they found themselves in courtrooms,” he said.
The move has already made history by making Putin the first head of state of a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to be issued with an arrest warrant, Khan pointed out.