Libya frees detained ICC team

2012-07-02 17:04
Melinda Taylor

Melinda Taylor

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Zintan - Libya freed on Monday four International Criminal Court (ICC) officials detained in a western town since June, after the head of the Hague-based court apologised for the "difficulties" that had arisen from their mission.

Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor and Lebanese-born interpreter Helene Assaf were detained in the town of Zintan on 7 June and accused of smuggling documents to Muammar Gaddafi's captured son Saif al-Islam. Two male colleagues travelling with them have remained with Taylor and Assaf.

"I would like to thank the Libyan authorities for making the necessary arrangements today to allow the release of the ICC staff so they may be reunited with their families," ICC President Sang-Hyun Song said at a news conference in Libya.

Libya's deputy foreign minister said the four were no longer in Libyan custody. They are due to leave for Europe tonight on a flight arranged by Italy, the Italian ambassador said.

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