Libya will 'co-operate with ICC on Saif'

2012-06-21 22:25

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Tripoli - Libya said on Thursday it is committed to co-operating with the International Criminal Court in the case of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi as it seeks to resolve the issue of four detained ICC envoys.

The government "remains committed to co-operate with this court in what relates to the proceedings of the accused Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his full rights to a defence", interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib said.

Kib told journalists his government hoped to find a solution that "respects Libyan and international laws" in the case of four ICC envoys who were detained after visiting the dead dictator's captured son.

"In return, the Libyan government expects the ICC to guarantee the professional ethics of its delegates who visit Libya, to respect Libyan laws and the sovereignty of the state," he added.

Kib said that the 6 June visit by Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor and three other ICC delegates had been arranged in cooperation with The Hague-based court and had the authorisation of the Libyan prosecutor general.

He added that the main purpose of the visit was to give the delegation an opportunity to meet Saif al-Islam in his place of detention in the city of Zintan southwest of Tripoli, and to help him choose a defence lawyer.

Undermine security

"Miss Melinda Taylor handed the accused documents whose contents undermine the national security of Libya," Kib said, reiterating the line taken by other officials.

"The act... is considered an offence punishable by Libya's criminal law.

"The documents have nothing to do with the procedures of the International Criminal Court. And they are not linked in any way with the carrying out of legal consultations related to the case of the accused."

The ICC wants to try Saif, 39, for crimes against humanity during his father's rule. Tripoli insists he should be tried locally, and on 1 May filed a motion challenging the ICC's jurisdiction to try him in The Hague.

The ICC delegation's detention has hit already delicate ties between the Libyan authorities and the court. Kib said an ICC lawyer has been allowed to sit in on the interrogations of his colleagues.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Tuesday that the team, which has been put in preventive detention for 45 days, could be freed if the ICC apologises to Tripoli over "inadequate consultation".

Read more on:    icc  |  saif al-islam gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa
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