ICC denies deal for Gaddafi son to be tried in Libya

AFP , Monday 23 Jan 2012

International Criminal Court denies accepting trial of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi will be held in Libya rather than The Hague

The International Criminal Court denied Monday that it had agreed that Saif Al-Islam, slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son, will be tried in Libya.

"The ICC has made no decision on this matter," court spokesman Fadi El-Abdallah told AFP in response to a claim by Libya's Justice Minister Ali H'mida Ashur that Saif would be judged by a Libyan court.

The ICC said earlier in a Twitter message that it had received a reply from the Libyan authorities to questions asked by its judges by a Monday deadline.

"The ICC has accepted that Saif Al-Islam will be tried in Libya by the Libyan judiciary," Ashur told AFP.

"The trial will take place in Libya. The Libyan justice system is competent and we gave the file (on Saif) to the ICC on Friday," Ashur added.

Saif, who was arrested on 19 November, is in the custody of the military council of Zintan, a town 180 kilometres (110 miles), southwest of Tripoli.

He is wanted by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the conflict in Libya.

The international court had asked Tripoli in December to say by 6 January "if and when" Saif would be handed over for trial in The Hague. That deadline was extended to 23 January at Libya's request because of the "security situation" in the country since the fall of Gaddafi in October.

Short link: