International judges said Thursday they will rule next week on whether to order the arrest of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi for allegedly orchestrating deadly attacks on civilians, a decision that could turn the embattled strongman into a prisoner in his own country.
A judicial panel of the court will announce Monday whether it will issue arrest warrants for Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam Gadhafi and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo alleges Gadhafi's forces attacked civilians in their homes, shot at demonstrators, shelled funeral processions and deployed snipers to kill people leaving mosques during the violent crackdown on rebels fighting to end his more than four-decade rule.
An arrest warrant would turn Gadhafi into an internationally wanted war crimes suspect liable to be detained, if he ever ventured outside Libya.
However, he has vowed to fight to the death to cling to power, even in the face of weeks of NATO airstrikes, making it appear unlikely he will attempt to flee the country.
The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal has no police force to go into Libya and attempt to arrest suspects.