THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for a Libyan National Army (LNA)commander accused over the alleged execution of dozens of prisoners.
Prosecutors at the world’s permanent war crimes court are seeking Mahmoud al-Werfalli’s hand-over to face charges of murder during the armed conflict in Libya.
According to the ICC, Werfalli “is alleged to have directly committed and to have ordered the commission of murder as a war crime” during seven incidents, involving 33 persons in June and July 2017 in and near Benghazi.
The LNA, which controls the eastern part of Libya, has been pushing to expand its presence in the central and southern part of the country where it has been vying for control with forces linked to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and other groups.
The United Nations called for the LNA to suspend Werfalli after a video in March allegedly showed Werfalli shooting dead three men who were kneeling and facing a wall with their hands tied behind their backs.
The LNA said it would investigate any potential war crimes but has not released any details of such a probe.
In June, two further videos appeared to show summary executions carried out by LNA fighters on his orders.
The ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes in Libya after a referral by the United Nations Security Council in 2011 and has been investigating alleged atrocities there.
Reporting By Anthony Deutsch and Stephanie van den Berg; editing by Ralph Boulton