Gaddafi son 'Kafka-esque' trial claim

2013-01-21 22:20

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - Lawyers defending Muammar Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam at the International Criminal Court on Monday accused Libyan authorities of conducting a "Kafka-esque show trial" after he appeared in a court in his homeland for the first time last week.

The latest broadside in the legal tug-of-war between The Hague-based ICC and Tripoli over where Seif, 40, should face justice came after he appeared in the dock in the Libyan town of Zintan on Thursday on charges of "undermining state security".

The Libyan charges were levelled after four ICC envoys went to Zintan in June and were detained for nearly a month, triggering a diplomatic row.

One of the four, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif a coded letter from his former right-hand man Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by Libyan authorities.

After Kadhafi appeared in court, ICC lawyers on Monday submitted an urgent request to the ICC "to issue an immediate decision on the admissibility of the case, and to order the government of Libya to immediately surrender Mr Kadhafi to the custody of the ICC".

The ICC is mulling a Libyan request to put Gaddafi and former spy chief Abdullah Senussi on trial there, while the ICC itself wants to try Kadhafi on charges of crimes against humanity committed in the conflict that overthrew his father in 2011.

The ICC lawyers said that Kadhafi "is essentially being tried for attempting to communicate with the ICC via his Counsel in relation to the fact that his rights had been violated".

"Prosecuting a defendant for trying to defend himself epitomises the very definition of a Kafka-esque show trial."

The ICC lawyers said Kadhafi's trial on security charges was "a completely unrelated, and abusive prosecution".

"Such strong-arm tactics have absolutely no place in a court of law, or in any country, which claims to respect the rule of law."

The ICC, which was mandated by the UN Security Council to investigate the Libyan conflict, issued arrest warrants in June 2011 for both Seif and Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Lawyers for the two accused have said they will not get a fair trial in Libya, which has until Wednesday to submit its latest report to the ICC in a bid to have the court quash a surrender request.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.