First Published: 2014-04-27

Seif al-Islam Gathafi answers court questions via video link
Court says that it will appoint lawyer for Gathafi's son after he insisted in controversial hearing by video link that ‘God is my counsel.’
Middle East Online

Court sets next hearing for May 11

TRIPOLI - A Libyan court said Sunday that it would appoint a lawyer for slain dictator Moamer Gathafi's son Seif al-Islam after he insisted in a controversial hearing by video link that "God is my counsel."

Just 22 of 37 former Gathafi regime officials being tried for a raft of alleged abuses during the 2011 uprising that ended his 42-year rule were in court for Sunday's hearing in the capital.

Seif spoke by video conference from Zintan, a hill town southwest of Tripoli, where he is in the custody of former rebel militia.

Eight other defendants, including former internal security chief Mansur Daw, appeared by video link from Libya's third largest city Misrata.

The court ruled at a previous hearing earlier this month that it was too dangerous to move the defendants to the capital for the trial and ordered video links to be established instead.

The ruling drew condemnation from human rights groups, which had already expressed serious concern about the prospects for the defendants receiving a fair trial.

Among those present in the dock on Sunday were former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi and Gathafi's last premier, Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi.

All the defendants are charged with murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity.

The court set the next hearing for May 11.

Seif is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the NATO-backed uprising.

In May last year, the ICC rejected Tripoli's request to try Seif in Libya because of doubts over a fair trial. Tripoli has appealed the decision.

 

Iraq troops prepare for final assault on ISIS-held Fallujah

Iran moderate conservative retains parliament speakership

Without clear roadmap, Libya unity government fails to bring change

Iran blames Saudi Arabia for Hajj impasse

In Iraq town, fans of Real Madrid gather in 'challenge to ISIS'

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition’ in Iraq

Israel police send Netanyahu spending file to prosecutors

Bahrain court upholds life terms for five 'spies'

Investigators need 12 days to recover EgyptAir black boxes

Iraq Kurdish forces launch offensive east of Mosul

Shipwrecks in Mediterranean claim up to 700 lives in one week

ISIS offensive triggers mass displacement in northern Syria

Iran delegation leaves Saudi Arabia without Hajj deal

Hundreds of civilians flee Fallujah area in Iraq

Khamenei urges Iran lawmakers to resist Western 'schemes'

ISIS-rebel clashes grip northeast Syria town

New US law could sanction Hezbollah officials

Thousands of protesters gather in central Bagdad

99 lashes for partying Iranian students

100,000 Syrians trapped after shock IS advance in Aleppo

Iran sticking to nuclear deal: UN watchdog

Turkey party seeks constitutional change to boost president's powers

Turkey accuses US of 'hypocrisy' on Kurdish militia in Syria

Israel environment minister resigns from 'extremist government'

US-led coalition pounds IS near Raqa

Tunisia mulls allowing women to serve in army

US-backed fighters battle IS near Syria stronghold

Tunisia tourism sees 'slight recovery'

UN envoy calls for economic rescue plan for Yemen

Bahrain jails 19 for attacks on police

Up to 30 dead in shipwreck off Libya

UN says Syrians will 'starve' unless aid improves

Christian homes set ablaze in Egyptian village 'love story'

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott

Twin offensives on IS edge forward in Syria, Iraq

Private firms to help in hunt for Egyptair black boxes

New Israeli defence minister's tough talk to be put to the test

Syria most dangerous place for health workers

Concern for civilians trapped in Iraq's Fallujah

Brent rises past $50 a barrel

Iraq PM urges protesters to stay home

Juncker warns Ankara against migrant deal threats

Israeli air force carries out strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza

Annual Jewish pilgrimage starts in Tunisia

Sudan accuses UN official of 'false' reports on displaced