Top Russian investigator wants ‘legal assessment’ of statement on Putin's possible arrest

Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia's Investigative Committee, said on March 19 he had ordered a legal assessment of a German minister's statement that dictator Vladimir Putin will be arrested if he comes to Germany.

He claimed that the International Criminal Court's (ICC) arrest warrant for Putin was "illegal."

Bastrykin also said on March 17 that Russia’s Investigative Committee is aiming to identify the ICC judges who issued the arrest warrant for Putin.

On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's children's rights commissioner overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children. According to a statement put out by the ICC, there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that Putin is directly responsible for overseeing the forced kidnapping and relocation of over 16,000 Ukrainian children since the start of the full-scale invasion.

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said later that Germany would have to arrest Putin if he enters the country's territory and if the International Criminal Court asks contracting states for enforcement.