“Game over” for Gaddafi in months – prosecutor

TRIPOLI/AMSTERDAM,  (Reuters) – Libya’s Muammar  Gaddafi could fall within two to three months, the International  Criminal Court’s prosecutor said yesterday, as rebels sought to  build on a gradual advance towards Tripoli.

The ICC’s Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who on Monday announced an  arrest warrant for Gaddafi on charges of crimes against  humanity, is the latest international official to say the Libyan  leader would soon capitulate to a NATO-backed revolt.

“It is a matter of time … Gaddafi will face charges,”  Moreno-Ocampo told reporters in The Hague, where the warrants  were approved for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan  intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.

He added: “I don’t think we will have to wait for long…In  two or three months it is game over.”

The Libyan administration rejects the authority of the ICC  and has denied targeting civilians, saying it has acted against  armed criminal gangs and al Qaeda militants.

While there is little chance of Gaddafi being arrested if he  remains in power, his foes have seized on the warrant to justify  the three-month NATO bombing campaign and to try and bolster  world opinion in support of the operation.

In Washington, a U.S. Senate panel backed a resolution to  formally authorise continued U.S. participation in the NATO-led  operation. Senators on the panel rebuked President Barack Obama  for not having sought congressional approval in the first place.

In comments that appeared to make any political settlement  even less likely, rebels said after talks in Paris that even  indirect contacts with Gaddafi were now excluded — hardening a  line that until now acknowledged talks through intermediaries.

“I don’t think there is any place for direct or indirect  contact with Gaddafi,” Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the  National Transitional Council (NTC) said after meetings with  French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In its eastern stronghold of Benghazi, the NTC hosted the  foreign minister of Bulgaria, whose country along with Romania  brought to at least 22 the number of states which recognise the  NTC as representatives of the Libyan people.


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