ICC expects release of legal team detained in Libya
“Maxkamadda Dambiyada Caalamiga oo karaja qabta Siidaynta koox Qareeno Ah oo shaqaalahooda ka tirsan oo ay oo ay qabatay xukuumadda Liibiya”.
The International Criminal Court is expecting Libya to set free its four-member legal team that was detained after visiting Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the jailed son of slain Muammar Gaddafi.
“The ICC president is going to Libya tomorrow and the release of the four ICC staff members is expected tomorrow,” Fadi el-Abdallah, a spokesman for the court, told AFP.
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. The four-member team had traveled to help prepare his defense and to negotiate a potential handover for trial by the ICC.
The Libyan side claimed that Taylor was trying to pass Saif al-Islam documents that “have nothing to do with his case and represent a danger to the security of Libya.”
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.
“When the ICC has completed its investigation, the court will ensure that anyone found responsible for any misconduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions,” it added in a statement issued last month.
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.
July 2, 2012