Wednesday, 10 October 2012

ICC to decide trial venue for Gaddafi`s son

  Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, delivers a speech during a youth rally in Tripoli, capital of Libya, March 10, 2011. The International Criminal Court (ICC) Wedesday said it will soon make a ruling on the  trial venue for Saif who is facing crimes against humanity.(Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The International Criminal Court (ICC) will soon make a judgment on the trial venue for former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's eldest son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in due course, an ICC spokesman said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the ICC held its first public hearings in the case of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. During the hearings, arguments were presented by all parties concerned, including the representatives of the Libyan authorities, the ICC Prosecutor, the ICC defense team and the public counsel for victims. The pre-trial session is part of an ongoing battle between Libya and the ICC over where the son of the former Libyan leader should face justice."The hearing taking place yesterday and today is be held to discuss issues related to the admissibility challenge of the case against Saif al-Islam Gaddafi filed by the government of Libya on May 1, 2012," ICC spokesman Fadi El-Abdallah told Xinhua.  "The question examined by Judges is who would be prosecuting the Gaddafi case: the ICC or the Libyan authorities," El-Abdallah said. "Judges will take a decision on the admissibility of the case in due course," he said.

Saif al-Islam's ICC lawyers argued their client would not receive a fair trial in Libya, because he could face the death penalty. But representatives of the Libyan authorities said he should be tried in the country where he is accused of committing crimes. ICC prosecutors backed the Libyan arguments and said Libya should be given more time to prepare the case. "We see that the case being presented appears to be on track," Prosecutor Sara Criscitelli said. "We believe that Libya is interested in prosecuting this offender. We are confident that Libya needs a bit more time to sort itself out," the prosecutor said. A warrant of arrest for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was issued on June 27, 2011. He was charged with crimes against humanity committed during the uprising that toppled his father. Arrested in southern Libya on Nov. 19, 2011, Saif al-Islam has been held in the western mountain town of Zintan. During that time, the Libyan authorities have repeatedly rejected requests to hand him over for trial in The Hague. (Xinhua)

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