NEW: NATO responds that it never targeted specific individuals in the operation
The Gadhafi family blames NATO for Gadhafi's death, the lawyer says
The family will file the complaint with the ICC, the lawyer says
The ICC had a warrant for Gadhafi's arrest
The family of deceased Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi will file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court, a lawyer representing the family said Thursday.
Members of the family believe NATO’s actions led to Gadhafi’s death last week, said Marcel Ceccaldi.
“All of the events that have taken place since February 2011 and the murder of Gadhafi, all of this means we are totally in our right to call upon the International Criminal Court,” Ceccaldi, a French attorney, said.
NATO responded that it “conducts its operation in strict conformity with the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.” In a statement Thursday, a NATO official said, “At no time during Operation Unified Protector has NATO targeted specific individuals.”
The ICC had previously issued a warrant for Gadhafi’s arrest, accusing him of crimes against humanity.
The ICC still has warrants for the arrest of Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi.
Questions surround the death of Moammar Gadhafi, who eluded forces loyal to the National Transitional Council for months. Video shows Gadhafi was alive when captured by the opposition.
He died from a shot in the head, officials said, but the circumstances surrounding the shot remain unclear.
The United States said it supports an independent investigation, as called for by the United Nations and by Libya’s new leadership.
Ceccaldi said the Gadhafi family’s complaint will be filed in the coming days.
“Now we will wait and see if the ICC is a judicial system which is independent and impartial,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO military operation, said earlier this week that NATO “did not get involved in anything beyond what was our legal mandate and we remain well within the mandate assigned to us by the North Atlantic Council.”
“We saw a convoy, and in fact we had no idea that Gadhafi was on board,” Bouchard said. Some vehicles in the convoy were carrying weaponry, and seemed to present a potential threat to the population, he said.
The news came as the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to end NATO’s military operations in Libya.