Russia Puts ICC’s Japanese Judge Akane on Wanted List

Alexander Kazakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on economic issues via a video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 25, 2023.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Russia has put Tomoko Akane, a Japanese judge at the International Criminal Court, on its wanted list after the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The move was reported by Russian state-run news agency Tass on Thursday based on information from the Russian internal affairs ministry.

After the warrant was issued, Russian authorities in March started investigating the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, who is from Britain, and three ICC judges, including Akane.

In May, the authorities announced that they had indicted Khan and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala from Italy in their absence, saying that it was a criminal act to hold an innocent person, referring to Putin, criminally responsible.

Putin has refrained from traveling abroad as he might be detained in a member state of the ICC. He is slated to attend online a summit of the BRICS emerging countries to be held in South Africa next month.

At a press conference in Tokyo Thursday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that it is “wrong to take measures against an ICC-related individual” and that Tokyo will respond appropriately in cooperation with the court based in The Hague.