The International Criminal Court . . .[restrict](ICC) has issued a finding of non-compliance after Libya’s repeated failure to hand over Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi to stand trial in the Hague. It has referred the case to the UN Security Council.
The finding was based on the failure of the Libyan Government to surrender Saif to the ICC and to return confiscated original documents to Saif’s defence team. The documents were taken by Libyan authorities during the visit of an ICC delegation to Zintan in June 2012, where the four-strong team was detained for almost a month.
“The Chamber notes that the obligations to surrender Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and to return the privileged Defence documents and destroy all copies thereof are still outstanding. In this context, it considers that the necessary consultations with Libya in respect of these obligations have now been concluded,” the ICC said, in yesterday’s ruling. “The Chamber considers that both outstanding obligations are of paramount importance for the Court’s exercise of its functions and powers in the present case, and the non-compliance by Libya effectively prevents the Court from fulfilling its mandate.”
The ICC issued a warrant for Saif’s arrest on 5 July 2011. Saif was detained in Libya on 19 November that year. From May 2012 the Libyan authorities challenged and appealed against the ICC’s case against Saif, arguing that they were competent to try him in a Libyan court. However all these challenges and appeals were unsuccessful. Since May 2013, it has been obliged to surrender Saif, which it has failed to do.
It remains unclear, at this point, with which of Libyan’s two governments the ICC is currently dealing. The ICC in the Hague has not yet responded to an enquiry made by the Libya Herald. The Tripoli-based administration of Omar Al-Hassi considers that is has taken over the case. However, the new Justice Minister Mustafa Al-Glaib said he had not received any notifications from the ICC since assuming his duties on 28 September. He insisted that Libya was the correct place for the trial to take place.
“Saif committed crimes here in Libya and we have a justice system so he should be tried here,” Glaib said. “The judges know him, everything about him, and his victims are here. He must be tried here”.
Yesterday’s finding came after a motion from Saif’s defence team on 19 November. This pointed out that it had already filed 15 requests for a finding of non-compliance.
Saif is due to appear via video-link at another hearing in Tripoli this coming Sunday. However, he has not made a remote appearance since the trial restarted, with the Attorney General’s office saying that technicians had not been able to reach Zintan to set up the video-link.
The Libya Herald first appeared on 17 February 2012 – the first anniversary of the Libyan Revolution. Since then, it has become a favourite go-to source on news about Libya, for many in Libya and around the world, regularly attracting millions of hits.