By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 14 June 2017:
Following the reported release of Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi earlier this week, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has called for his immediate arrest.
Fatou Bensouda said Libya was “obliged” to surrender Saif to the ICC regardless of the supposed amnesty law enacted by the House of Representatives under which he was suuposedly freed.
“Helping a fugitive to escape justice must not be tolerated, and Mr Gaddafi must be surrendered to the custody of the court,” she said.
Saif Al-Islam is wanted by the ICC on charges of war crimes committed during the 2011 revolution.
Bensouda also reiterated her demand for the surrender of Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, the head of the former regime’s internal security, for crimes committed during the 2011 revolution. He became the fourth Qaddafi-era person wanted by the ICC,
Both men are subject to an INTERPOL Red Notice – being a request to find and arrest an individual pending extradition.
“It is imperative for both suspects to be apprehended and immediately surrendered to the custody of the ICC so that their guilt or innocence can be established,” Bensouda said.
Arrest warrants naming other top Qaddafi regime officials are expected to be announced by the court soon.
For his part, Tripoli’s chief prosecutor has pointed out that Saif remains sentenced to death in absentia after his Hadba trial in July 2015.
Mystery surrounds Saif’s whereabouts. Ajmi Al-Atiri, head of Zintan’s Abubakr Al-Siddiq brigade which captured him six years ago and then held him, announced on Sunday that he had been freed. But there has been no sign of him anywhere, although there are reports that he is alternatively in Obari with General Ali Kana, in the Washefana district, in Bani Walid or even still in Zintan.
Meanwhile sources say that Algeria has refused to allow him entry on the basis that it does not want to become entangled in a dispute with the ICC.