The International Criminal Court (ICC), which issued arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi Monday, is trying to add rape to the list of charges against the 42-year leader.
According to a CNN report, the ICC is looking for evidence tying rapes by Libyan forces during the civil war to Gaddafi himself.
Earlier this month, the court's chief prosecutor accused Gaddafi of ordering mass rapes and purchasing Viagra-like drugs for his soldiers. Rebel fighters have also released cell phone videos to the media that show Libyan soldiers raping civilians.
On Monday, The Hague announced that it had filed warrants for Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, and his intelligence chief and brother-in-law, Abdullah al-Sanoussi. All three were charged with crimes against humanity and ordering civilian attacks.
The judge claimed that Gaddafi and his son conceived and orchestrated a plan to deter and quell by all means the civilian demonstrations.
In response, Gaddafi's lawyers decried the warrants, saying that the UN wants to take Libya's oil.
We have good reasons to believe that the case against our client is found on the desperation to have access to the rich oil resources and not any legal ground as NATO should account on the destruction of Libyan infrastructure, killing of innocent civilians, women and children as well as the deprivation of access to basic necessities, including baby food, Gaddafi's legal team said in a press release.
Libya holds the most oil of any African nation in its vast reserves, but the conflict has caused the loss of some 132-million barrels. During the first two months of the civil war, global oil prices rose by $25 a barrel. Before the war, Libya produced 160- million barrels a year.
The warrants mean that should any of the three men set foot in a country that has signed the ICC agreement they could be immediately arrested and brought to The Hague, Netherlands, for trial.
As long as he stays in Libya, Gaddafi will be sheltered from the court's authority.