There’s no warrant, says Germany’s Scholz when asked about arresting Netanyahu

By Thomson Reuters May 24, 2024 | 7:06 AM

(Reuters) – Chancellor Olaf Scholz declined to speculate on whether Germany would execute an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, noting that no warrant had yet been issued and that Israel had an independent judiciary.

“A chamber of judges will decide,” Scholz said at a joint press conference in Berlin with his Portuguese counterpart when asked about the ICC prosecutor’s request for a warrant over Israel’s conduct in the war in Gaza.

When deciding whether to issue a warrant, judges “shall bear in mind that Israel is a democratic state with a strong and independent judiciary.”

Under the principle of complementarity, the Hague-based ICC can only prosecute crimes where the local jurisdiction is unable or unwilling to do so. If judges found that Israel was itself doing a credible investigation of the charges alleged by the ICC prosecutor, they could deny the request.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Friederike Heine)