Gaddafi's Son Seif Al Islam

Libya has enough evidence to charge Moamer Kadhafi’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.

The ICC wants Seif, the only son of the slain Libyan leader
in custody, to be tried in The Hague, but Libya’s post-revolutionary
authorities insist he should stand 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 Kadhafi’s
former spymaster Abdullah Senussi, 63, in June 2011 for crimes against humanity
allegedly committed while trying to crush the revolt against the veteran
leader’s iron-fisted rule.
ICC defence lawyers argued that Seif would not get a fair
trial in Libya, where he could face the death penalty
Libya’s bid and arguments to have the case against Seif
quashed in the Hague-based court was “like a house of cards,” said
Melinda Taylor, representing Seif. “When examined in detail it collapses
upon itself,” she said.
Taylor — who spent nearly a month in detention after she
and three other members of a defence team were arrested in Libya after visiting
Seif in June — accused Libya’s lawyers of misleading the ICC, for instance by
saying a possible death sentence for Kadhafi could be commuted.
Australian lawyer Taylor cited a law passed by Libya’s
post-revolutionary National Transitional Council which said “no child of
Kadhafi will ever benefit from leniency.”
If convicted, “Mr Kadhafi will be executed by
hanging,” Taylor told judges.
But ICC prosecutors said Libya should be given more time for
the case.
“We see that the case being presented appears to be on
track,” prosecutor Sara Criscitelli told the ICC’s three-judge bench.
“We believe that Libya is interested in prosecuting
this offender… we are confident that Libya needs a bit more time to sort
itself out.”
Evidence against Seif includes how he allegedly told
security forces during a television broadcast to use 
violence shortly after the
outbreak of the uprising in mid-February last year, Libya’s lawyer Sands said.
Tripoli also alleges 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 ended
his father’s over 40-year rule.
In a surprise move, Senussi was extradited to Libya last
month from Mauritania, where he was arrested in March as he tried to enter the
country using a Malian passport under a different name.
“The government of Libya is committed to carrying out a
fair trial for any ex-Kadhafi government official,” Tripoli’s lawyer Ahmed
al-Jehani told the ICC, also not ruling out future cooperation with the ICC in
the case.
But, Jehani said, this was a “complicated process and
Libya needed more time” to put Seif and other Kadhafi loyalists on trial,
something that would contribute to vital reconciliation in the North African
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 had not managed to do so.
A warrant for the late Libyan strongman was scrapped after
Kadhafi 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.
Source: Star Africa


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