The Russian Investigative Committee Monday announced that Russia has opened a criminal case against the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding its arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin. The committee claims that the ICC’s decision was “unlawful” and that Putin holds immunity to the warrant.
The committee launched its criminal case against the members of the ICC who originally issued the warrants, namely Prosecutor Karim Khan and Judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. The committee referenced a 1973 UN Convention when justifying its case, claiming that heads of state are immune to such actions under this convention.
The announcement comes days after the ICC called for arrest of Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Putin administration’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, in connection with war crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both figures are accused of unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, commenting on the original arrest warrant, described the “fundamental decision of national justice” as “a historic decision from which historical responsibility will begin.” The warrant is a part of the ICC’s continuing investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.