Gaddafi son right to fair trial 'prejudiced'

2012-07-06 20:00
Melinda Taylor

Melinda Taylor

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Voorburg - The right to a fair trial of Saif al-Islam, son of Muammar Gaddafi, has been "irrevocably prejudiced", his International Criminal Court lawyer said on Friday following her release from detention in Libya.

"Irrespective of any issues concerning my own personal conduct, the rights of my client, Mr Saif al-Islam - were irrevocably prejudiced during my visit to Zintan," said Melinda Taylor, who was freed earlier this week after being detained in Libya while visiting Saif on behalf of the International Criminal Court.

"It is the position of the defence that these recent events have completely underscored that it will be impossible for Mr Gaddafi to be tried in an independent and impartial manner in Libyan courts," she said at a press conference in The Hague, two days after her return.

Taylor and her four colleagues were released on Tuesday after being held in Zintan southwest of Tripoli since 7 June after travelling there to help prepare Saif al-Islam's defence.

An Australian citizen, Taylor was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Saif al-Islam, 40, a coded letter from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by the Libyan authorities.

The other three detained ICC staffers were Taylor's interpreter from Lebanon, Helen Assaf, and two colleagues, Russian Alexander Khodakov and Esteban Peralta Losilla from Spain.

The four were allowed to leave the North African country as part of an agreement between the Hague-based court and the Libyan government, which are disputing where Saif should be tried.

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