Cairo- In a surprising development, the Libyan army announced that one of its officers, recently accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing war crimes, is under arrest and is currently under investigation for the first time in the history of officials in the army that is led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
The general leadership of the Libyan National Army, the force that controls most of east Libya, said that a military prosecutor is investigating with Major Mahmoud al-Warfali, and it confirmed that “he was suspended from work and placed in custody on the case.”
The leadership’s statement stressed the readiness of the army to cooperate with the ICC and inform them of the course of the investigation and the conduct of the trial process.
It also praised ICC efforts to achieve stability and social security and protect peoples from the scourge of war and armed conflicts.
The statement, which was directed to the ICC, said: “We hereby inform you that the accused in your judicial appeal is currently under investigation by the Military Prosecutor in the same cases mentioned in the arrest warrant. He has been in custody since August 2, when Haftar ordered an investigation.”
The army’s leadership stressed its respect and commitment for international conventions, international humanitarian law and the teachings of Islamic Sharia.
It pointed out that “on several occasions, Haftar has emphasized the necessity of complying with these instructions and orders issued in particular, including respect for personal freedoms and the handover of terrorist detainees to the competent authorities.”
It also confirmed that it is not responsible of these acts and its perpetrators “because they represent only those who committed them,” noting that “the investigation with Warfali will follow the military law to ensure justice”.
According to the ICC, Warfalli “is alleged to have directly committed and to have ordered the commission of murder as a war crime” during seven incidents involving 33 people in June and July 2017 in and near Benghazi.