Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Updates on the Libya Situation

Saif Gaddafi in Zintan, Libya. Photo Credit: The Telegraph.

By: Catherine Mullin

The most recent developments in the Libya situation at the International Criminal Court reflect its continuing challenges. 
A year ago this month, Melinda Taylor, and International Criminal Court lawyer assigned to Saif Gaddafi, was detained for three weeks in Libya after visiting her client.  Mr. Gaddafi is accused of crimes against humanity by the ICC.  Ms. Taylor, along with three others on her legal team, was accused of sharing documents with her client that “compromise the national security of Libya.”  It was announced yesterday by Libyan officials that Ms. Taylor and her interpreter would be tried in absentia, since Ms. Taylor and her team left Libya after their detainment.  The ICC representative in Libya responded by saying the trial was illegal because ICC legal teams have immunity, and that the ICC would not participate in the trial.

Libyan authorities also continue to refuse to hand over Saif Gaddafi.  The ICC most recently requested Mr. Gaddafi’s transfer in early June 2013.  After investigating Libya’s admissibility challenge the Court determined that Libya was unable to conduct neither an adequate investigation nor a fair trial.  This determination led the Court once again to order that Saif Gaddafi be transferred to The Hague.  Libya quickly appealed this decision, and also requested a suspension of the order, thus continuing to resist delivering Gaddafi. 

Libyan officials reaffirmed their position this week when they announced that Mr. Gaddafi’s trial was set to start in Libya in August 2013.  Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan also made a statement to the BBC that Saif Gaddafi would, in fact, receive a fair trial in his home country. Mr. Gaddafi remains held in western Libya, where he has been since he was captured by a militia in 2011.

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