The Government of Costa Rica has issued a formal statement through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing its vehement objection to the arrest warrant issued by Russia against the Costa Rican citizen, Sergio Ugalde Godínez, a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In an official statement, the Costa Rican government condemned what it views as a blatant attempt by Russia to intimidate and undermine the work of the international criminal justice system, while avoiding accountability for its actions.
Costa Rica’s support for its fellow citizen and the work of the International Criminal Court remains unwavering. The government considers the Russian-issued arrest warrant as a retaliatory measure and an act of intimidation in response to decisions taken by the ICC.
The statement cites an incident that occurred on March 19, 2023, when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child. This warrant was related to the alleged illegal deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
As a result of the ICC’s decision, the Russian government responded by issuing an arrest warrant against the ICC Prosecutor and other officials on March 20. Subsequent orders were issued, encompassing a broader scope, including the President and Vice President of the Court, and additional judges.
On November 8, Sergio Ugalde Godínez, a Costa Rican citizen, joined the list of individuals targeted by Russian arrest warrants. He was one of three judges who had issued the arrest warrant against Russian President Putin.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates Costa Rica’s unwavering commitment to the International Criminal Court, its elected officials, and its staff. This commitment has been consistently expressed on previous occasions. The statement affirms that Costa Rica stands resolutely against Russia’s attempts to undermine the international mandate of the Court, allowing it to escape the purview of international criminal justice.
The International Criminal Court, established as the first permanent international criminal tribunal, carries a mission to end impunity for those responsible for grave crimes affecting the international community. These crimes encompass war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and the crime of aggression. The Court aims to deliver justice to the victims of such crimes.