The rebel-held city of Misrata in Libya erupted with pleasure with the news that Muammar Gaddafi, his son and the head of Libyan intelligence have been served with arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court.
For weeks the city was pounded with artillery and rockets by Gaddafi’s troops, and there is little love for the dictator there, accused by the ICC of killing civilian protesters from the moment they rose up in February.
In Benghazi the leader of the National Transitional Council welcomed the news, and agreed with Washington that the warrants stripped Gaddafi of any remaining legitimacy he may have had left.
“The decision issued today by the International Criminal Court renders any proposals or initiatives to protect Muammar al-Gaddafi or to hold talks with him pointless,” said Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
However Gaddafi is unlikely to risk arrest as long as he remains in power and stays in Libya, as the court has no power to enforce its warrants. Late on Monday night Libya rejected the warrants and said it did not recognise the ICC.