Brazil’s stance on immunity for heads of state could favor Putin at G20 summit


BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is advocating immunity for heads of state who are not parties to treaties such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to a document seen by Reuters, which could lead to Russian President Vladimir Putin joining the group. Can take sides. 20th summit in Rio this year.

The ICC has been debating the immunity of heads of state since 2007, and it is unclear whether Brazil can reach a decision before it hosts a summit of the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies in November.

But this argument could allow the Brazilian government to ignore an arrest warrant issued last year against Putin by the ICC in The Hague based on war crimes charges related to the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, to which Brazil is also a party.

Brazil’s leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told the G20 meeting in New Delhi last September that Putin would not be arrested if he attended the Rio summit. But despite widespread criticism, he retracted his statement and said that it was up to the Brazilian courts and not his government.

Russia was a signatory to the ICC, but left the treaty in 2016, following court action against its 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea. Russia has said that the ICC’s allegations against Putin are absurd and baseless.

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Putin has rarely traveled abroad since the ICC sought his arrest, missing the summit of the BRICS group of major emerging economies in South Africa and the G20 summit in India last year.

Brazil’s position on the matter was presented to the International Law Commission in Geneva in November and first published in the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo had reported this on Monday.

Brazil says their immunity is necessary to promote peaceful relations between foreign countries by allowing heads of state to attend diplomatic conferences and missions.

“The immunity of state officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction is important to ensure the adequate performance of their functions,” the document says. Immunity prevents the arbitrary exercise of criminal jurisdiction against such officials.

ICC rulings should only apply to countries that are parties to the Treaty of Rome, Brazil argued in the document, which did not mention Putin or the G20 summit.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paragusu; Writing by Anthony Bodley; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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