Libya wants to be allowed to try spy chief

2013-04-03 14:38
Flashback: Intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, right, whispers to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Sabha, Libya. (AP, File)

Flashback: Intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, right, whispers to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Sabha, Libya. (AP, File)

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

The Hague - Libya has formally applied to the International Criminal Court to be allowed to put Muammar Gaddafi’s former spy chief on trial in Tripoli instead of sending him to The Hague to face justice, according to documents published Wednesday.

In a lengthy written submission, lawyers representing Libya argued that Abdullah al-Senoussi's home country is willing and able to prosecute him and therefore has precedence over the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal.

The International Criminal Court indicted Al-Senoussi in June 2011 for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the Gaddafi regime's brutal attempts to put down the rebellion that ousted the dictator after four decades in power.

Al-Senoussi is jailed in Libya. His lawyers argue he will not get a fair trial at home and should be sent to The Hague.

His case runs parallel to that of one of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who also was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2011 but is being held in Libya amid legal wrangling over the trial venue.

Under its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, the Hague-based war crimes tribunal is a court of last resort, meaning it can step in to prosecute suspects only when the home country refuses or is unable to do so.

Libya's 97-page motion argues that Al-Senoussi is being investigated at home for crimes including alleged offenses he is indicted for in The Hague and that Tripoli wants to try him "as part of its programme of building a new and democratic Libya" governed by the rule of law.

Charges against Gaddafi

"To deny the Libyan people this historic opportunity to eradicate the long-standing culture of impunity would be inconsistent with the object and purpose of the Rome Statute, including its deference to national judicial systems," the lawyers wrote as they asked judges to declare Al-Senoussi's case inadmissible at the International Criminal Court and to quash a court order for Libya to surrender him to The Hague.

However lawyers for both Saif al-Islam and Al-Senoussi have warned the International Criminal Court that the men are unlikely to receive a fair trial in Libya and should therefore be sent to The Hague.

Al-Senoussi's British lawyer Ben Emmerson argued earlier this year that a trial for his client in Libya would "inevitably constitute a flagrant denial of justice, and may result in the imposition and carrying into effect of the death penalty".

Libya countered in its written filing, saying the government in Tripoli, "has no intention of compromising its commitment to the rule of law by holding a rushed trial that does not meet international minimum standards of due process".

The United Nations Security Council gave the International Criminal Court a mandate to investigate in Libya in 2011 following the government's deadly crackdown on protesters. Prosecutors swiftly indicted Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Al-Senoussi on charges of murder and persecution for allegedly targeting civilians.

The charges against Gaddafi were dropped after he was captured and killed by rebels as his regime was toppled.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  muammar gaddafi  |  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

Traffic Alerts
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.