ICC lets Libya hold Saif al-Islam for now

June 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, June 1 (UPI) -- A chamber of the International Criminal Court ruled Friday that Libya may delay handing Saif al-Islam Gadhafi to The Hague but his warrant remains valid.

The ICC in June 2011 issued arrest warrants for Saif al-Islam and former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanousi for alleged crimes against humanity, notably murder and persecution, committed allegedly in Libya during the early stages of last year's civil war.

The interim administration in Tripoli submitted a challenge to the ICC claiming Saif al-Islam son of former leader Moammar Gadhafi, and Sanousi should be tried before national courts.

The ICC, in a statement Friday, said the arrest warrant against Saif al-Islam remains valid "and accordingly Libya must ensure that all necessary measures are taken during the postponement in order to ensure the possibility of an immediate execution of the surrender request should the case be found admissible."

In November, Christian Wenaweser, a senior official at the ICC, said that Libya maintains primary jurisdiction when trying former regime figures of suspected crimes.

Human Rights Watch, following a visit to the country in December, said Saif al-Islam told them he was treated well by Libyan authorities. His primary concern, he said, was lack of access to legal counsel.

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