Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ICC Lawyers Slam Libyan Rebels Over Gaddafi's Son

ICC lawyers slam Libya over Gaddafi son

From: AAP
January 22, 2013 3:25PM

LAWYERS defending Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, at the International Criminal Court have accused Libyan authorities of conducting a "Kafka-esque show trial" after he appeared in a court in his homeland for the first time last week.

The latest broadside in the legal tug-of-war between The Hague-based ICC and Tripoli over where Gaddafi, 40, should face justice came after he appeared in the dock in the Libyan town of Zintan on Thursday on charges of "undermining state security".

The Libyan charges were levelled after four ICC envoys went to Zintan in June and were detained for nearly a month, triggering a diplomatic row.

One of the four, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Gaddafi a coded letter from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by Libyan authorities.

After Gaddafi appeared in court, ICC lawyers on Monday submitted an urgent request to the ICC "to issue an immediate decision on the admissibility of the case, and to order the government of Libya to immediately surrender Mr Gaddafi to the custody of the ICC".

The ICC is mulling a Libyan request to put Gaddafi and former spy chief Abdullah Senoussi on trial there, while the ICC itself wants to try Gaddafi on charges of crimes against humanity committed in the conflict that overthrew his father in 2011.

The ICC lawyers said Gaddafi "is essentially being tried for attempting to communicate with the ICC via his counsel in relation to the fact that his rights had been violated".

"Prosecuting a defendant for trying to defend himself epitomises the very definition of a Kafka-esque show trial."

The ICC lawyers said Gaddafi's trial on security charges was "a completely unrelated, and abusive prosecution".

"Such strong-arm tactics have absolutely no place in a court of law or in any country which claims to respect the rule of law."

The ICC, mandated by the UN Security Council to investigate the Libyan conflict, issued arrest warrants in June 2011 for both Gaddafi and Senoussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Lawyers for the two accused have said they will not get a fair trial in Libya, which has until Wednesday to submit its latest report to the ICC in a bid to have the court quash a surrender request.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/icc-lawyers-slam-libya-over-gaddafi-son/story-e6frfkui-1226558705005#ixzz2Ig5JWQdx

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