The Hague vs Libya on justice for Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son

By Konye Obaji Ori
Posted on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 11:41

The ICC wants Gaddafi in The Hague but Libyans want him tried in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

ICC’s determination to try Gaddafi in The Hague was buoyed by a somewhat discriminatory law passed by Libya’s post-revolutionary National Transitional Council (NTC)). According to the law, “no child of Gaddafi will ever benefit from leniency.”

But the Libyan authorities have repeatedly rejected the court’s requests to hand Gaddafi over for trial in The Hague, and have made no secret the fact that they have no intention of handing him over to the ICC.

“The judicial system is back on track and slowly starting to try all the previous regime’s figures, and they are a part of the regime and if one part is missing how can we trace other parts.

“So the trial of Saif (in Libya) is important to try all these people and groups as a whole,” Musa Alkouni, a former member of the NTC is quoted as saying by AP.

The ICC has demanded that Libya play by the rules to win the right to try Gaddafi at home. The court has sought assurances that Gaddafi will face a fair hearing in front of capable local judges.

Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Jehani, a Libyan lawyer has called on the international community to “be patient”, telling ICC judges the Libyan authorities “needed time” to organise a fair trial for Gaddafi.

The ICC demands that for Gaddafi to be tried in Tripoli, Libyan lawyers must conduct their own investigations, and prosecute Gaddafi for the same alleged crimes that were listed on the ICC’s arrest warrant.

Gaddafi is accused of committing war crimes against the rebels who overthrew his father last year. He has been held by the Zintan Brigade in the western mountain town of Zintan for almost a year and will be transferred to a secure detention facility in Tripoli before trial.

The Libyan authorities insist he must be tried in the country where he was accused of committing crimes.

But Libya’s objection has been discussed in a two-day hearing in The Hague.

Gaddafi who is a trained engineer was previously seen as a reformist face of his father’s regime but was later indicted by the ICC after reportedly organizing a campaign of murder and torture in an attempt to quash last year’s uprising against his father.

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