First Published: 2012-10-09

 

Libya insists can match ICC charges against Seif al-Islam

 

Tripoli alleges Seif ordered use of live rounds against civilian demonstrators, that he recruited Pakistani mercenaries to put down revolt.

 

Middle East Online

By Jan Hennop - THE HAGUE

In custody in Zintan since his arrest

Libya has enough evidence to charge Moamer Gathafi's son Seif al-Islam with crimes against humanity, lawyers told the International Criminal Court on Tuesday amid a dispute over where he should face justice.

While the ICC wants Seif, the only son of the slain Libyan leader in custody, to be tried in The Hague, Libya's post-revolutionary authorities insist they are willing and able to put him on trial in his home country.

A probe "has already produced considerable results," Libya lawyer Philippe Sands told a two-day hearing on Seif's fate. "There is a wide range of evidence that will constitute an indictment the same as that presented by the ICC's prosecutor."

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Seif, 40, and Gathafi's former spymaster Abdullah Senussi, 63, in June 2011 for crimes against humanity committed while trying to crush the popular revolt against the veteran leader's iron-fisted rule.

Evidence against Seif includes how he told Libyan security forces during a television broadcast to use violence shortly after the outbreak of the uprising in mid-February last year, Sands said.

Tripoli also alleges that Seif ordered the use of live rounds against civilian demonstrators and that he recruited Pakistani mercenaries to put down the revolt.

Seif has been in custody in the northwestern Libyan hilltown of Zintan since his arrest last November in the wake of the uprising that toppled his father after more than 40 years in power.

Senussi was extradited to Libya last month from Mauritania, where he was arrested in March as he tried to enter the country from Morocco using a Malian passport under a different name.

Tripoli and the ICC have been at loggerheads since his capture over where Seif al-Islam's should be tried, with Libya's new leaders saying they want him in the dock before one of their courts.

"The government of Libya is committed to carrying out a fair trial for any ex-Gathafi government official," Tripoli's lawyer Ahmed al-Jehani told the ICC.

"We will create a judicial system that is fair and this will prove our commitment to the rule of law," Jehani said of his country's burgeoning post-revolutionary administration.

But, Jehani said, this is a "complicated process and Libya needs more time" to put Seif and other Gathafi loyalists on trial, something that would contribute to reconciliation in the North African nation.

"Swift justice does not allow for due process -- and it is not desirable," Jehani said.

Libyan officials had asked in May for the court to quash a surrender request and throw out the case, saying they had the means to put Seif on trial -- but until now have not managed to do so.

A warrant for the late Libyan strongman was scrapped after Gathafi was killed by rebel forces on October 20 last year.

In a sign of the challenges facing the new Libyan order, premier Mustafa Abu Shagur was dismissed on Sunday after failing to form a government, including naming a justice minister.

Under Libya's transition plan, a new government will be in power for about a year only, until fresh elections on the basis of a new constitution are held.

 

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks