Qaddafi son makes first appearance in Libya court

The son of Libya's deposed leader Moammar Qaddafi appeared in court in Zintan, Libya, on Jan. 17. Saif al-Islam Qaddafi is accused of transferring information related to Libya's national security to an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation. He is also accused of insulting Libya's new flag and attempting to escape from prison. Saif al-Islam's trial was postponed until May because he was not represented by a lawyer at the hearing. One of Saif al-Islam's co-defendants in the case related to information on Libya's national security is his ICC-appointed lawyer Melinda Taylor.

Earlier this month the ICC asked Libyan officials to address reports that they plan to try Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi, the former intelligence chief for Gaddafi. Libya has refused to hand the two men over to the ICC and announced plans to try them in Libya. In October Libyan government lawyers urged the ICC to allow them to be tried in Libya and promised that the trial would be fair. In August Saif al-Islam stated that he preferred to be tried by the ICC out of fear that Libya would not try him fairly. In June four ICC staff members who traveled to Libya to speak with Saif al-Islam, including Melinda Taylor, were detained by Libyan security forces and were in custody for nearly four weeks before being released.

From Jurist, Jan. 17. Used with permission.