ICC considers Libyan request to retake Gadhafi inquiry

May 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM
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BRUSSELS, May 13 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court is considering a challenge by the Libyan government in the case of two Gadhafi-era officials suspected of human rights abuses.

The ICC said it should have jurisdiction over the human rights abuse cases of Islam Gadhafi, son of deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and Abdullah Sanussi, Gadhafi's longtime intelligence chief.

Libyan officials in a filing to the ICC said they are conducting internal investigations into both men, who remain in custody after the Gadhafi regime fell in 2011.

The war crimes alleged in Libya throughout Gadhafi's rule were referred to the ICC by a United Nations resolution and is a binding requirement under the U.N. charter. Member nations must cooperate with the court's inquiry. In order to retake cases, member nations must petition the ICC and seek its approval.

Human Rights Watch urged Libya to cooperate with the ICC proceedings.

"Libya understandably wants to see those responsible for past crimes brought to justice," said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. "As Libya goes forward with its bids at the ICC, it should demonstrate its intention both to abide by the rule of law at home and to respect its international obligations."

Sanussi's investigation dates back as far as the 1980s, including the killing of 1,200 prisoners in a prison in Tripoli in 1996.

The younger Gadhafi is being investigated for his role in the regime's crackdown on protesters in 2011.

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