ICC employees released in Libya
Four employees of the International Criminal Court (ICC), one of them Russian, who were detained in Libya in June were released on Monday, Reuters reports quoting the Libyan deputy foreign minister.
It was reported on the 7th of June that four ICC employees arrived in Libya to see a son of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader who was killed last year.
Gaddafi’s son is accused of committing crimes against humanity during last year’s armed conflict in Libya.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, during the meeting the Libyan administration suspected the Australian lawyer and her interpreter of trying to pass the prisoner some dubious materials and detained them.
The other two members of the delegation, including the Russian employee, voluntarily stayed with their colleagues.
Jul 2, 2012
ICC lawyers released in Libya but still face charges
Four members of the International Criminal Court who were being held for allegedly passing illegal documents and a spying device to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, have been released in Libya.
The four are expected to go on trial starting on July 23.
The Italian ambassador in Tripoli has claimed they will leave the country before they face charges.
Libyan authorities arrested the delegation in the city of Zintan on June 7 after one member, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, was accused of passing “dangerous” documents to Saif al-Islam.
It was later claimed that she attempted to give him a coded letter from a close ally, as well as a spy-camera concealed in a pen.
Their release was secured by a personal visit of Sang-Hyun Song, the president of the ICC.
“I wish to apologize for the difficulties which arose due to this series of events. In carrying out of its duties (the ICC) has no intention to compromise the national security of Libya,” said Song after the four were set free.
The Australian lawyer was held along with her Lebanese interpreter, Helen Assaf, and two other ICC staff, Esteban Peralta Losilla , a Spanish national, and a Russian, Aleksandr Khodakov.
The ICC condemned the move by the Libyan authorities and urged their immediate release, citing their immunity. It also said the court would fully investigate its members’ behavior upon their return.
Saif al-Islam, 39, once one of the most influential figures in Libya and Colonel Gaddafi’s heir-apparent, has been held in a Zintan prison ever since his capture by the city’s militia in November, shortly after his father’s killing. The ICC charged him with crimes against humanity and insisted that he be transferred to the Netherlands for trial.
However Libya’s ruling NTC has so far declined ICC’s request, stating that he should be tried at home.
Jul 2, 2012
Detained ICC delegation in Libya released: commander
TRIPOLI, July 2 (Xinhua) — A total of four staff members belonging to an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation which were detained in Libya early last month were freed on Monday, the official Libyan News Agency reported.
The report was quoting battalion commander Abu Bakr Al-Ajmi from the military authorities in Zintan in western Libya.
The Hague-based ICC sent a mission in early June to meet son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi — Saif al-Islam — in Zintan, where he had been held since being captured in November last year.
The mission’s task was to enable the Office of the General Council of Defense, a defense team to represent Saif al-Islam. But the ICC said the members were confirmed detained a couple of days after their arrival in Zintan.
Both the ICC and the United Nations have urged the Libyan authorities to immediately release the detained members.
But according to the Libyan representative to the International Criminal Court, Ahmed Jehani, the ICC’s Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor was trying to hand over Saif al-Islam some documents that ” constitute a threat to the security of Libya.”
In June 2011, the ICC issued warrants against then Libyan leader Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam, as well as ex- intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi, on charges of crimes against humanity in cracking down on protests.
Yet, Libya has been persuading the ICC that it is entitled to and has the ability to try the figures from its former regime, including Saif al-Islam and Al-Senussi.