Arrest warrant for Putin, that’s what can happen

From possible arrest to surrender to eventual trial, what does indictment mean. Lawyer Verni, head of the ‘Online Defense’ Law Area, explains it to Adnkronos

Vladimir Putin “could be arrested only if, after leaving Russia, he set foot in a country that has signed and ratified the Statute of the International Criminal Court, i.e. the body which, through its magistrates, issued the arrest warrant in his comparisons”. This was stated to Adnkronos by the lawyer Marco Valerio Verni, head of the Law Area of ​​’Online Defense’, explaining the possible scenarios related to the arrest warrant issued against the Russian president by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Of course, even a country that is not part of the Statute could proceed, if necessary, to hand over Putin, for convenience, perhaps political or, as they say, diplomatic courtesy – observes the lawyer Verni – But we remain within the framework of the hypotheses, among which, it should be remembered, could also include the one according to which the host country could enforce the principle of immunity of foreign Heads of State (generally not applicable, in reality, in the presence of particularly serious indictments), as happened , for example, in 2015, with the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, visiting South Africa”. “But there is more: in fact, in the event that the Russian president were to be arrested in one of the 123 States that have ratified the Statute of the International Criminal Court, in order to then be able to hand him over to the latter, this (State) would have to evaluate the legitimacy entirely in the light of one’s domestic law – recalls the head of the ‘Online Defense’ Law Area – One could, then, think that some problem could arise in who knows which State, but, in reality, the problem could have the same Italy”.

“To use the same words of the military Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, in fact, ‘problems could arise when the Court of Appeal of Rome, competent on the merits, were to decide the existence of the conditions for handing him over to the International Criminal Court: should assess whether the crimes for which Putin is indicted are foreseen in our legal system – recalls Verni – In this case the hypothesis of crime should be that of deportation of children, which in our legal system is not specifically foreseen, and not having Italy while the code of crimes against humanity has still been approved, the Rome court of appeal could have problems in recognizing, in our legal system, a hypothesis of crime equal to the one for which arrest was requested. approve the code of international crimes against humanity as soon as possible to avoid finding ourselves in this type of problem with consequent drops of image at an international level rnational’”.

“In short, the arrest warrant in question does not guarantee that the Russian tsar can actually be stopped and handed over to the ICC – explains the lawyer Verni – The fact that it was issued and, above all, made public (probably to try to deterrent on the allegedly contested terrible conduct), may perhaps also have a political significance which, however, if on the one hand, would seek to weaken Putin’s image, even in the presence of his own people and always perhaps, to limit moving to other countries (assuming it needs to), on the other hand, and for this very reason, could have harmful consequences in terms of any peace negotiations”.

In the event of arrest and delivery to the ICC, a trial would begin: “The presence of the defendant is, of course, necessary before the International Criminal Court – explains the head of the ‘Online Defense’ Law Area – Otherwise the trial could not take place because the contradictory must always and in any case be guaranteed”. As for the possible penalty, “it naturally depends on the crimes that will be charged against him. This arrest warrant would have been issued for holding Putin responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and illegal transfer of population (children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia”. But it cannot be excluded that there may also be other crimes that the magistrates of the CPI could decide to charge against him”.

“In this reasoning, it must be said that there are some that are more difficult than others to prove, such as, for example, that of genocide. In the latter case, in fact, it would be necessary to prove the animus agendi, i.e. the precise intention and will , by whoever is accused of this crime, of wanting to annihilate the enemy people, against whom they have perpetrated certain violent actions, with the specific purpose, substantially, of erasing it from the face of the Earth – he concludes – In an abstract line, however, the penalties foreseen by the Statute of the International Criminal Court certainly provide for imprisonment up to a maximum of thirty years and in particularly serious cases even life imprisonment.To these penalties can be added the confiscation of the profits, goods and assets obtained directly or indirectly from the crime, without prejudice the rights of third parties in good faith”.