South African government formally applies for Putin arrest warrant

The High Court of the South African province of Gauteng, in response to a request sent by the country’s justice department to the national prosecutor’s office, has decided to issue an arrest warrant for “Russian President” Vladimir Putin, which would require him to be detained in South Africa. This was reported by Eyewitness News and the opposition Democratic Alliance party.

This means that the country’s government has officially initiated the process of arresting Putin if he “sets foot on the soil” of South Africa, Democratic Alliance explained. The party also noted that the court’s decision, contrary to the intentions of the country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, was made possible by pressure from the district attorney, whose efforts “forced the government to uphold the rule of law despite Ramaphosa’s attempts to protect Putin”.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for “Russian President” Vladimir Putin on March 17. He is suspected of illegally deporting children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia. A similar warrant was issued against Russian children’s ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in late April that his country would withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court because of the ICC’s “unfair treatment of some countries”, but two days later, authorities called the president’s statement a “misguided comment”.

On July 19, Ramaphosa’s office said Putin would not come to South Africa for the BRICS summit and that the Russian delegation would be led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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