Australia demands release of ICC lawyer

June 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, June 13 (UPI) -- The Australian government called for the release of a member of the ICC detained while on a visit to Libya.

Four members of the International Criminal Court were detained in the town of Zintan. An official with the Australian Embassy in Libya was able to meet with ICC member Melinda Taylor for about 90 minutes late Tuesday, the Australian Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, in a statement, said Taylor was held in "generally adequate" conditions and was in good spirits "given the circumstances."

The BBC said Taylor is accused of passing a coded message to Saif al-Islam Gadhafi from Gadhafi's former assistant, Mohammed Ismail.

The military in Zintan captured Saif al-Islam, a son of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Saif al-Islam is wanted by the ICC on war crimes charges.

Carr said the government of Australia was calling for Taylor's immediate release.

"As a representative of the ICC, Ms. Taylor and her colleagues were doing the important work of the court and are entitled to immunity," he said in a statement.

The ICC said it was "concerned over the deadlock" in attempts to secure the release of the staff members, who were detained Thursday.

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