The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague said Wednesday that he would seek arrest warrants for three senior officials in Libya on charges of crimes against humanity, providing no names but saying that the three were “the most responsible” for the crimes committed.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor, appeared in a briefing before the United Nations Security Council, which had unanimously called for a criminal investigation of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s use of force against civilians. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said the evidence supporting charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity included the shooting of peaceful protesters, followed by weeks of systematic persecution, including murder, imprisonment and torture.

“War crimes are apparently committed as a matter of policy,” the prosecutor said. He went on: “The evidence shows that events in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia prompted Libyan security forces to begin preparations for the possibility of demonstrations in Libya. As early as January, mercenaries were being hired and brought into Libya.” Other violations, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said, included preventing the wounded from receiving medical care; arresting, torturing and raping perceived opponents of the Qaddafi government; and the use of cluster bombs, mortars and other heavy weapons in crowded urban areas.

New York Times
By Marlise Simons and Neil MacFarquhar

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