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ICC statute President calls for court trial of Gaddafi's son

By Yoshita Singh
November 20, 2011 15:32 IST
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The International Criminal Court has asked the Libyan authorities to ensure that Muammar Gaddafi's fugitive son Saif al-Islam, captured by forces of the National Transitional Council, is tried in a court of law in accordance with international norms.

President of the State Parties to the Rome Statute, that established the ICC, Christian Wenaweser welcomed the arrest of Saif, against whom the tribunal has a warrant of arrest.

"By arresting Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the Libyan authorities have taken a major step towards ensuring accountability and due process rights and towards fulfilling their obligations under international law," Wenaweser said.

Saif was arrested on Saturday near the southern town of Obari by Libya's revolutionary forces.

Wenaweser said it must be ensured that al-Islam is tried in a court of law and in accordance with international standards.

"Should the Libyan authorities wish to try him in Libya, they can make the case before the court that their national judicial system is willing and able to do so in an independent and impartial manner," he said.

Commending the Libyan authorities for their cooperation with the court, Wenaweser said ICC is hopeful of continued cooperation of the Libyan authorities.

Under the Rome Statute, Libya retained the primary jurisdiction over all crimes committed on its territory.

He said he was heartened by reports that the forces that captured Saif intended to treat him as a prisoner of war adding that international law generally, and the Rome Statute specifically, imposed an obligation to treat him according to established international standards.

In June, the ICC had issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif and the country's then intelligence chief Abdullah Al Sanousi for their roles in attacks against protesters, many of whom were killed when opposition forces rose up against the regime.

Gaddafi was killed in October in his hometown of Sirte during the final days of the eight-month-long conflict.

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