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MPs React to Trudeau’s Silence on International Criminal Court Prosecution Request

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet commented on the International Criminal Court’s push to prosecute his Israeli counterpart and others regarding the war in the Gaza Strip. However, his deputy has stated that it is inappropriate to compare leaders of terrorist organizations with democratically elected ones.

The court’s chief prosecutor has requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister, and senior Hamas leaders.

The United States rejected implicating Israel with Hamas, while France and Belgium supported the decision and Germany respected the court’s independence.

Mr. Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly have not yet responded.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, at a press conference on May 21, emphasized that equating terrorist leaders with democratic leaders is inappropriate.

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However, Ms. Freeland did not provide a stance on whether Ottawa supports issuing warrants. She described it as a “preliminary” and “hypothetical” situation.

In French, she stated, “You are asking a question regarding a potential, future thing; it’s a hypothetical question.”

“Canada respects the court and its decisions,” she added.

These comments were in line with statements from Liberal MPs, including calls to respect the ICC’s independence and impartially consider evidence.

The Liberals and NDP supported a parliamentary motion in March to back the work of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Trudeau is scheduled to address the media later on May 21 in Philadelphia.

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