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.

 

Supplies dwindle, strikes intensify in Syria's Aleppo

Morocco’s main secular party takes on ruling Islamists

Yemeni forces kill suspected Qaeda chief

Palestinians condemn Trump vow on Jerusalem

Famous archway collapses on Moroccan beach

Israel prosecutor general denies going easy on PM

Iran frees Iranian-Canadian academic

Rebels, civilians quit Homs under deal with regime

Oman court closes national newspaper, jails three journalists

Israel-US consortium signs $10 billion gas deal with Jordan

Closure of Palestinian pages sparks Facebook censorship fears

British FM on key visit to Turkey

Ten Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks

Jordanians protest over writer's murder

Moniz says Washington has met its side of Iran nuclear deal

Coalition prefers final Yemen settlement to 'short' truce

Deutsche Welle sues Turkey over confiscated interview

Iran conservatives advise Ahmadinejad to stay out of election

Moscow slams 'unacceptable' UN statements on Syria

Bulgaria court error delays trial over Hezbollah bombing

Oil prices rise modestly ahead of OPEC meeting

Qatari official banned from AFC vote

Trump says he'll recognize Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital

US, Russia split on Syria’s Aleppo carnage

Death toll from Egypt migrant shipwreck jumps to 168

Warplanes pound Aleppo ahead of UN Syria meeting

Dubai drops charges against Briton who promoted charity

Israel sentences Islamic cleric for incitement

Turkey sets precondition for joining US Raqa operation

Campaigning for parliamentary polls begins in Morocco

EU mission to train Libya coastguard faces delay

Gunman kills prominent writer on steps of courthouse in Jordan

Mosul offensive to start in ‘next few weeks’

New wave of air strikes pummels Aleppo

US, Russia trade blame for collapse of ceasefire in Syria

Hadi vows to ‘extract Yemen from claws of Iran’

Obama vetoes bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union

Air raids pound rebel-held Aleppo

Turkey arrests prominent writer brothers

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 133

Gulen says will return to Turkey if US backs extradition

Occupation troops shoot, wound Palestinian with knife

UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo

Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen