ICC urges Libya to hand over Saif

2011-11-20 10:30

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The Hague - Libya must hand over Saif al-Islam, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, to the International Criminal Court, an official says, while holding out the prospect of a trial in Tripoli.

An ICC spokesperson said chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo would travel to Libya within days for talks with the new regime, as world leaders called on the authorities in Tripoli to ensure that justice was done.

Saif was arrested in the south of Libya, a senior National Transitional Council official said on Saturday, almost a month to the day since the capture and gruesome killing of his father Muammar Gaddafi.

Russia's special representative for Africa Mikhail Margelov articulated the concerns of the international community quite clearly.

"We are happy that this time the new authorities in Libya did not resort to summary justice for Saif al-Islam," he said.

Saif, who was considered Gaddafi's heir apparent, is wanted by the court for crimes against humanity, allegedly committed during the former regime's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in February.

He, his father, and Gaddafi's security chief Adullah al-Senussi, were all accused of having orchestrated the deadly operations against the protesters to put down the revolt by "any means necessary".

The security forces, acting on their orders, killed or wounded hundreds of anti-regime demonstrators and arrested hundreds more as they tried to stop the uprising.

ICC spokesperson Fadi Al-Abdallah said that the Libyan authorities were obliged to cooperate with the ICC and surrender him to the court as required by the UN resolution on Libya.

"If they want a trial in Libya, they must submit a request for dismissal and procedures in Libya must be conducted on the same charges as those contained in the warrant of the ICC," Abdallah added.

The ignominous end of Kadhafi himself and another son Mutassim, both killed after being captured last month, has increased concerns in the international community for the fate of Saif.


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