Statement by Minister Cannon on International Criminal Court’s Probe into Grave Crimes Against the Libyan People

(No. 91 – March 4, 2011 – 6:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s decision to investigate Muammar Qadhafi for grave crimes committed against the Libyan people:

"Canada welcomes the announcement by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, regarding the opening of an investigation into Libya focusing on the actions of Qadhafi, his sons and senior officials in his regime.

"The international community has sent a clear message to the Libyan regime that it cannot act with impunity, and that there will be consequences for committing serious international crimes.

"Canada is confident that those responsible for planning, ordering and carrying out widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population of Libya will face justice before the International Criminal Court.

"Canada calls upon the Libyan authorities to respect the human rights of its people; those individuals in Libya who continue to violate international law should be aware that they will be held criminally responsible.

"Canada also calls upon the Libyan authorities to abide by the international obligations set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970, including the obligation to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor.

"Some reports have incorrectly indicated that Canada has reduced its contributions to the International Criminal Court. Last fiscal year, Canada made a one-time contribution for its share of costs for the construction of new permanent premises for the Court. Canada’s ordinary annual contributions are based on a fixed scale of assessment that is not open to variance by individual states; Canada always ensures that its assessed contributions are paid in full and on time."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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