Hand over Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, ICC tells Libya

May 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, May 31 (UPI) -- Libyan authorities need to surrender Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, to The Hague to face war crimes charges, the ICC ruled Friday.

A pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court rejected a challenge to its jurisdiction filed by Libya in the case against Saif al-Islam Gadhafi. He's suspected of committing crimes against humanity, including murder, during civil war in 2011.

"The chamber reminded Libya of its obligation to surrender the suspect to the court," an ICC statement read.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the Security Council in early May that serious crimes were committed by Moammar Gadhafi's government during the civil war.

Libyan authorities argued they have the right to try Saif al-Islam in their own courts, provided the national judicial system was open and functioning.

The court said it recognized Libya's effort to rebuild its national institutions and restore the rule of law since civil war ended in late 2011.

"The chamber, however, stressed that the Libyan state continues to face substantial difficulties in exercising fully its judicial powers across the entire territory," it ruled.

Gadhafi appeared in a Libyan courtroom May 2, where he was appointed two Libyan lawyers. The ICC said Libya can appeal the decision or submit another challenge.

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