Australia offers way out of ICC row

June 19, 2012 at 2:04 PM
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ALGIERS, Algeria, June 19 (UPI) -- The Australian foreign minister said Tuesday he had a series of proposals meant to resolve an impasse over the Libyan detention of four ICC lawyers.

Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor and three associates working for the International Criminal Court were detained in Zintan, Libya, after meeting with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of the late leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Saif al-Islam was captured by rebel forces in Zintan last year. He's wanted by the ICC on war crimes charges. Libyan authorities accused Taylor of passing messages to Saif al-Islam from a loyalist.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr met Monday with Libyan authorities, foreign diplomats and other members of the ICC in Tripoli. He said from Algeria the impasse could be resolved in a number of ways, including the release of the ICC members and a possible apology from the ICC "for inadequate consultation on protocol and procedures."

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 and Sanousi should be tried before national courts.

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