First Published: 2013-01-22

 

Gathafi son's 'Kafka-esque' trial draws ICC lawyers' criticism

 

Lawyers defending Seif al-Islam at ICC accused Libyan authorities of conducting ‘Kafka-esque show trial’.

 

Middle East Online

Seif lawyers fear revenge trial in Libya

THE HAGUE - Lawyers defending Moamer Gathafi's son Seif al-Islam at the International Criminal Court on Monday accused Libyan authorities of conducting a "Kafka-esque show trial" after he appeared in a court in his homeland for the first time last week.

The latest broadside in the legal tug-of-war between The Hague-based ICC and Tripoli over where Seif, 40, should face justice came after he appeared in the dock in the Libyan town of Zintan on Thursday on charges of "undermining state security".

The Libyan charges were levelled after four ICC envoys went to Zintan in June and were detained for nearly a month, triggering a diplomatic row.

One of the four, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif a coded letter from his former right-hand man Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by Libyan authorities.

After Gathafi appeared in court, ICC lawyers on Monday submitted an urgent request to the ICC "to issue an immediate decision on the admissibility of the case, and to order the government of Libya to immediately surrender Mr Gathafi to the custody of the ICC".

The ICC is mulling a Libyan request to put Gathafi and former spy chief Abdullah Senussi on trial there, while the ICC itself wants to try Gathafi on charges of crimes against humanity committed in the conflict that overthrew his father in 2011.

The ICC lawyers said that Gathafi "is essentially being tried for attempting to communicate with the ICC via his Counsel in relation to the fact that his rights had been violated".

"Prosecuting a defendant for trying to defend himself epitomises the very definition of a Kafka-esque show trial."

The ICC lawyers said Gathafi's trial on security charges was "a completely unrelated, and abusive prosecution".

"Such strong-arm tactics have absolutely no place in a court of law, or in any country, which claims to respect the rule of law."

The ICC, which was mandated by the UN Security Council to investigate the Libyan conflict, issued arrest warrants in June 2011 for both Seif and Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Lawyers for the two accused have said they will not get a fair trial in Libya, which has until Wednesday to submit its latest report to the ICC in a bid to have the court quash a surrender request.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli