International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, in an interview published Sunday, said he hoped that embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi "will be arrested" by his people in the coming weeks on crimes against humanity charges.
"We hope that the arrest warrant (to face charges of crimes against humanity) will be delivered soon and that Gaddafi will be detained by the Libyan people. That's what we are expecting," he told the Spanish daily El Mundo.
Moreno-Ocampo said he was hopeful ICC judges would rule on Gaddafi's arrest in the coming weeks.
"We are working on the assumption he will be arrested by his people, by members of his regime" and if "that is not possible by the (rebel) National Transitional Council," he added.
Last month, the ICC prosecutor said he would seek arrest warrants for three people considered most responsible for crimes against humanity in Libya, Gaddafi, his son Seif Al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdallah Al-Senoussi.
Libya's deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaaim retorted that Tripoli was "not concerned" by ICC decisions since it was not a party to the Rome Statute that founded the ICC.
But Moreno-Ocamp argued that Libya is bound to cooperate with the court as demanded by a UN Security Council resolution adopted last February 26.
And he maintained that Libya would be legally required to act on the arrest warrants if they are approved by the ICC judges.
Established in 2002, the ICC is the world's first permanent, treaty-based court set up to try those accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide if the accused's own country cannot or will not do so.