International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is collecting evidence for possible new war crimes charges against Moammar Qaddafi supporters and opposition groups arising out of crimes committed during last year’s civil war. According to an exclusive Associated Press interview, the ICC is specifically investigating crimes committed by rebel forces against Qaddafi loyalists and residents of Tawerga as well as further evidence against members of the former Qaddafi government. Tawerga was used to launch attacks on Libya’s commercial capital, Misrata. The ICC is looking into allegations that rebel forces subjected civilians in Tawerga to killings, looting, torture and forced displacement. Bensouda also discussed Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, who is currently being held by a militia group until he will stand trial. She urged the group to allow Saif al-Islam access to a lawyer and, while she encouraged the group to allow the ICC to prosecute him, should Libya proceed with the national trial the ICC “will continue to monitor what Libya is doing.”
The ICC, along with the international community as a whole, is closely monitoring the developments in the Libyan trial process. Earlier this week, Bensouda urged Libya not to grant amnesty for war criminals on either side of the fighting. Amnesty International last month called upon Libya to hand over former military intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi to the ICC. Earlier that month Libyan officials, in a hearing before the ICC, promised a fair trial for Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, and urged the court to allow a national trial.