19 Feb 2013

ICC urged to investigate war crimes in Syria

7:31 am on 19 February 2013

Former United Nations prosecutor Carla del Ponte has called for the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Syria.

Ms del Ponte is a member of a UN inquiry on the Syria conflict which has reported on human rights violations by both sides.

"Now really it's time ... We have a permanent court, the International Criminal Court, who would be ready to take this case," she said in Geneva on Monday.

She said it was urgent for the tribunal, which is based in The Hague to take up cases of very high officials,

The inquiry, led by Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, is tracing the chain of command to establish criminal responsibility.

The report, covering six months to mid-January, was based on 445 interviews which were conducted abroad, as the investogators were not allowed into Syria.