By George Grant.
Tripoli, 19 June:
The International Criminal Court (ICC) lawyer Melinda Taylor and her three colleagues could be released if the . . .[restrict]ICC issues an apology to the government for “inadequate consultation”, Bob Carr, the Australian foreign minister, said today.
The announcement came just one day after Carr said he had only “modest expectations” for the delegation’s release, ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Abdurrahman El-Kib and Foreign Minister Ashour Bin Khayal.
Carr said that the lawyers could be freed by the ICC: “issuing a statement which addresses the concerns of Libyan authorities and extends an apology for inadequate consultation on protocol and procedures”.
In a statement to Australian media, he said: “I’m confident that the Libyan government and even the authorities in Zintan are keen that the four detainees be released”.
“And I’m quietly confident that with an appropriate form of words from the International Criminal Court, that they will respond sooner rather than later.”
Carr has also offered to act as a broker between the government in Tripoli and the ICC.
“They recognise they’ve got to have a dialogue when this affair is settled, and I think Australia could play a role as good global citizen in facilitating it, and both of them are open to that suggestion,” he said.
The minister also acknowledged the “extreme sensitivities” surrounding the case in Libya, acknowledging that “the Libyan authorities, not just the people in Zintan, formed the view that something wrong was done, that there had been a breach of trust.”
The four ICC delegates have been detained in Zintan since 7 June following a meeting between Taylor and her client, Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, in which she was accused of trying to pass him “dangerous” documents. [/restrict]