Wed, 02 May 2012 11:43 - Updated Wed, 02 May 2012 11:43
War crimes court: Libya wants to keep Gadhafi son
Send by email
To share this news by email, fill out the information below and click Send
To report errors in the texts of articles published, fill out the information below and click Send
AMSTERDAM — The Libyan government on Tuesday formally challenged the International Criminal Court's right to try Moammar Gadhafi's son for war crimes, arguing that he should face justice on Libyan soil despite concerns he may not receive a fair trial there.
It also asked The Hague, Netherlands-based court to drop its demands to hand over Seif al-Islam Gadhafi while it considers the challenge.
The international court or ICC, is authorized by the U.N. to try war crimes committed last year as rebels fought the Gadhafi regime. It has issued an arrest warrant for the late dictator's son for allegedly killing and persecuting civilians during the uprising.
Seif was captured by rebels last year and is being held in isolation in the western Libyan town of Zintan. Ultimately the court has no police force or other way of enforcing its rulings, and can only appeal to the U.N. if Libya were to flout them.
However, the ICC does not oppose Seif being tried in Libya in principle, spokeswoman Sonia Robla said Tuesday.
The court only tries cases when a country is unable or unwilling to do so itself. But its judges must agree that Seif will face substantially the same charges he was indicted on and that his trial will be fair, she said.