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.

 

5 killed in string of suicide bombings in Lebanon

Netanyahu lauds Israel’s deal with Turkey

Erdogan apologises to Putin over downing of Russia jet

One year on, Tunisia holds minute silence for beach massacre victims

Iran cracks down on ‘Western culture’ of canine ownership

NGOs press EU leaders on Africa migrant plan

Jordanian intelligence officials sold weapons for Syria rebels on black market

On British-Irish border, Brexit breeds worries for future

New lawyers of Gaddafi son urge ICC to drop case

Bahrain jails 5 people on charges linked to ‘terrorism’

Clashes continue at Al-Aqsa compound

Turkey allows German minister visit after air base row

UN chief tells Israelis, Palestinians 'stand firm against violence'

Brexit vote unlikely to curtail Gulf appetite for London property

Egypt cancels high school final exam after online leaks

Dozens killed as clashes intensify in Yemen

Sarraj says only united military can defeat ISIS in Libya

Jordan court charges 21 people with 'terrorism'

Iraq forces take ISIS last positions in Fallujah

Iran conceals heated military standoff in Kurdish region

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists

Britain and EU: A fraught divorce

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen