South African authorities to hold consultations with Russia over ICC warrant for Putin’s arrest

South African Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Naledi Pandor said that the country’s authorities will hold consultations with Russia in connection with the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for President Vladimir Putin. In August 2023, in South Africa, which recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICC, a summit of the BRICS group is scheduled, to which Mr. Putin has been invited.

“We will study the provisions of our legislation, we will probably hold discussions in the cabinet of ministers, as well as with our colleagues in Russia, in order to determine how to proceed,” said Ms. Pandor (quoted by TASS). According to her, no such consultations have been held with the Russian side so far.

The International Criminal Court is based on the Rome Statute, which has approximately 120 signatories. Once the ICC asks member states for assistance, they must immediately arrest and bring the suspect to a local court. The jurisdiction of the ICC is not recognized by Russia, Ukraine, the USA, China, Israel and other countries.

Under the Rome Statute, signatory countries are required to extradite suspects to the ICC for whom the authority has issued an arrest warrant. In particular, German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann said that Putin would be detained if he arrived in Germany recognizing the ICC.

The Kremlin did not say whether Mr. Putin plans to participate in the 15th BRICS summit in South Africa. As Reuters reported prior to the announcement of the ICC’s decision to issue a warrant for Putin’s arrest, the Russian president’s visit to the event was “expected”.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin on March 17. The court ruled that the President of the Russian Federation “is allegedly responsible for war crimes related to the illegal deportation of the population (children)”. The Kremlin called the court’s decision “outrageous, unacceptable and insignificant from the point of view of law,” and the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against ICC judges.

Read about the international reaction to the decision of the ICC to issue a warrant for the arrest of Putin in the material “Kommersant” “Serving the ICC does not tolerate fuss”,

Alexander Kislov


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