World court demands Libya hand over Gaddafi's son for trial
A surviving son of deceased Libyan dictator Moamer Gaddafi must be handed over to the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity, the court's judges ruled Friday, dpa reported.
Libya and the court have been locked in an increasingly bitter contest about which court should try Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
Gaddafi awaits trial in Libya on human rights violations. A separate trial for disrespecting the country's new flag has already begun.
Tellingly, a third trial under way over charges of undermining Libyan state security relates to an alleged attempt by International Criminal Court lawyers to help Gaddafi escape his Libyan confinement. Four of the court's staff members were detained in 2012 on charges of smuggling documents and other items to Gaddafi.
The International Criminal Court has, from the start, rejected the charges, but it pointed to a growing divide between the court and the country.
It insisted that the charges for which it wants to try Gaddafi are related to charges of crimes against humanity, murder and persecution, all stemming from February 2011 and separate from those for which he faces trial in Libya.
It is not supposed to take cases when national courts are willing and able to conduct the trials themselves, but The Hague-based tribunal also noted that, less than two years after Gaddafi's downfall, institutions across Libya remained shaky.
"The Libyan state continues to face substantial difficulties in exercising fully its judicial powers across the entire territory," said the court, noting that Gaddafi is not in official state custody and that there have been problems with securing evidence and providing a lawyer for the accused.
Gaddafi is being held in Zintan by the rebels who caught him in November 2011, a month after other rebels found and killed his father and another brother, and eight months after the rebellion against Moamer Gaddafi's 42-year rule began.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was a key member in the ruling circle surrounding his father.