Russia Says 'Counterproductive' to Refer Syria War Crimes to ICC
[An Nahar] Russia said Tuesday it would be "counterproductive" to refer war crimes committed in the Syria conflict to the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
as proposed by dozens of states led by Switzerland
...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell...
"We view this initiative as untimely and counterproductive to solving today's main goal -- an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Switzerland sent a petition on Monday demanding referral from the 15-member U.N. Security Council -- the only body that can send the case to the ICC but where Russia wields veto power.
The letters' signatories included many European and Latin American nations as well as Australia and Japan.
Only the Security Council has the right to refer the Syria case to the Hague-based court because Syria is not an ICC member.
But Russia -- a traditional Syria ally that vetoed three prior Council resolutions sanctioning Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
The Scourge of Hama...
-- argued that a war crimes referral could only escalate the crisis.
"We are convinced that speculation on the subject of international criminal prosecution and a search for the guilty will only entrench the two sides' irreconcilable positions and complicate a search for a political settlement of the Syrian conflict," the Russian statement said.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-16