International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Nov. 23 that the ICC would allow Libya to conduct the trial of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi. Despite concern from human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, about whether Saif al-Islam Qaddafi can receive a fair trial in Libya, Ocampo said he trusts the new Libyan government will be able to try him fairly and maintained that the ICC will not intervene as long as it does not stray from ICC standards. The ICC issued a statement clarifying that, “[s]hould the Libyan authorities wish to conduct national prosecutions against the suspect, they shall submit a challenge to the admissibility of the case before Pre-Trial Chamber I… Any decision on the admissibility of a case is under the sole competence of the Judges of the ICC.” On the issue of the trial of Moammar Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, Ocampo denied reports by Libya’s National Transitional Council that he had been captured.
From Jurist, Nov. 23. Used with permission.
See our last posts on Libya and the Arab revolutions.
HRW urges Libya to ensure Qaddafi’s son access to lawyer
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Dec. 21 urged the Libyan government to find a way to grant access to a lawyer for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Fred Abrahams, a special adviser at HRW, visited with Saif al-Islam in Zintan, where he is currently being detained, and reported that while he has no complaints regarding the physical conditions at his place of detention, he is concerned at being unable to access a lawyer to help with his case. While Abdelaziz al-Hasadi, Libya’s general prosecutor, has assured HRW that Saif al-Islam will have the opportunity to meet with a lawyer, that assurance is conditioned upon the government first providing a secure detention center. According to HRW, in spite of the validity of the security concerns, the new government should make every effort to provide him with access to a lawyer in order to preserve its goal of respecting detainee rights. In addition to denial of a lawyer, Saif al-Islam has also not been able to visit with any friends or family during his detention. (Jurist, Dec. 21)