ICC: Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi Will Likely Be Tried in Libya

saif al-islam Gaddafi
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi with his captors. Photo by Reuters from: The Daily Mail

Recently captured son of deceased Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi will likely be tried in Libya instead of facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Capture
Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi was captured by Libyan rebels from the Zintan division earlier this month. After a brief car chase he and his companions gave up their arms and surrendered to the captors, who were alerted in advance by Qaddafi’s own desert guide.

Admittedly so far he was more lucky than his father, the deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who died after being captured by the rebels. Saif Al-Islam did not sustain any major wounds and appears to be in relatively good health on photos.

Conflict
Although the Hague-based ICC issued a warrant for Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi for crimes against humanity and was negotiating his surrender prior to his capture, Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) flatly refused to give the prisoner over to international prosecutors.

Libyans celebrating saif al-islam gaddafi capture
Libyans celebrating Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi’s capture. Photo from: Arabian Business

NTC’s spokesman Colonel Ahmed Bani said in a statement last month:

We will put him on trial here. This is where he must face the consequences of what he has done. We will prove to the world that we are a civilised people with a fair justice system. Libya has its rights and its sovereignty and we will exercise them.”

Resolution
Yesterday the ICC issued a press release, underscoring that Libya is under obligation to cooperate with it. It also stated that:

“Should the Libyan authorities wish to conduct national prosecutions against the suspect, they shall submit a challenge to the admissibility of the case before Pre-Trial Chamber I, pursuant to articles 17 and 19 of the Rome Statute of the ICC.”

At the same time ICC’s senior prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that “A murder is a murder in any country. [Qaddafi] can be tried in Libya under Libyan law,” after meeting Libyan interim government officials yesterday.

Libya’s interim justice minister Mohammed Alagy said the following after the meeting: “The investigation, run under the proper judicial system, will last a couple of months. And then he will be put on trial. We are ready.”

No one can ask for such a guarantee,” he added when asked about whether Saif Al-Islam would be spared the death penalty.

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Categories: Arab Spring, Politics

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  1. Cutting Through Libya’s Post-Gaddafi Fog: An Interview With Libyans (Part 2) | The Artichoke - November 25, 2011

    […] Libyan expats, which took place after dictator Muammar Gaddafi lost his life, but before his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was taken prisoner by revolutionary forces, here is part two of the interview series. In this article we get to interview a French Libyan […]

  2. Cutting Through Libya’s Post-Gaddafi Fog: An Interview With Libyans (Part 3) | The Artichoke - November 25, 2011

    […] (part 1, part 2), which took place after dictator Muammar Gaddafi lost his life, but before his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was taken prisoner by revolutionary forces, here is part three of the interview […]

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