By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 6 February 2015:
Libyan judges, prosecutors and forensic experts attended a workshop in The Hague that focused on improving . . .[restrict]the use of forensic evidence in the Libyan judicial system, especially in cases involving missing persons.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) organised the seminar entitled “Criminal Procedure and the Use of Evidence in Court-led Processes on Mass Graves and Missing Persons in Libya” which took place on Tuesday.
Presenters at the seminar included the ICMP, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Netherlands Forensic Institute.
The seminar included presentations and discussion about changing court procedures to better facilitate the presentation of forensic evidence, improving data management to keep track of forensic and other evidence, and empowering Libyan authorities to pursue suspects and to cooperate with other agencies, both local and regional or international.
Presenters also stressed the importance of “clarifying inter-institutional responsibilities and legal obligations to family members of the missing”.
Current conditions in Libya inhibit thorough criminal investigations, but the leaders of the seminar aimed to prepare for the time when conditions improve and it were possible “to sustain a long-term effort to account for” the large number of people who disappeared during the revolution and even during the years of the former regime, as well as those who have more recently gone missing.
Kidnapping occurrences are frequent in Libya, and often missing persons are never heard from again. Several high profile abduction cases, such as that of Essam Al-Ghariani, Benghazi Municipal council member and husband of slain activist Salwa Bugaighis, have never been solved.
For the most part, kidnappers operate with impunity in Libya. [/restrict]