UN investigators urge ICC trials for Syria's war criminals
The Syrian conflict has seen nearly 70,000 people killed since March 2011. Both sides have committed war crime violations such as murder and torture, investigators say.
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Pinheiro, noting that only the Security Council could refer Syria's case to the ICC, said: "We are in very close dialogue with all the five permanent members and with all the members of the Security Council, but we don't have the key that will open the path to cooperation inside the Security Council."Skip to next paragraph
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Karen Koning AbuZayd, an American member of the U.N. team, told Reuters it had information pointing to "people who have given instructions and are responsible for government policy, people who are in the leadership of the military, for example".
The inquiry's third list of suspects, building on lists drawn up in the past year, remains secret. It will be entrusted to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, upon expiry of its mandate at the end of March, the report said.
Pillay, a former ICC judge, said on Saturday Assad should be probed for war crimes, and called for outside action on Syria, including possible military intervention.
Pinheiro said the investigators would not speak publicly about "numbers, names or levels" of suspects, adding that it was vital to pursue accountability for international crimes "to counter the pervasive sense of impunity" in Syria.
Seven massacres identified
The investigators' latest report, covering the six months to mid-January, was based on 445 interviews conducted abroad with victims and witnesses, as they have not been allowed into Syria.
"We identified seven massacres during the period, five on the government side, two on the armed opponents side. We need to enter the sites to be able to confirm elements of proof that we have," del Ponte said.