Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son will not be heading to the ICC any time soon because Libya, which never ratified the ICC treaty, wants to try Saif al-Islam on home soil.
The International Criminal Court is concerned that Saif al-Islam will not get a fair trial in Libya. A lawyer from the ICC, Xavier-Jean Keita, even claimed on Thursday that Muammar Gaddafi’s son is being mistreated and beaten in a Libyan detention facility.
“Gaddafi has been physically attacked,” the lawyer said in a statement. “He also suffers pain due to the absence of dental treatment.”
Al-Islam is wanted on charges of crimes against humanity against the people of Libya. He was indicted in June 2011 along with his father and Libya’s former intelligence chief. Al-Islam was arrested in November trying to flee to Niger, and since then the ICC has been seeking his extradition to The Hague.
Meanwhile, there are big questions over the effectiveness and fairness of the ICC as a body, and its overall jurisdiction, Sara Marusek, a Middle East researcher at Syracuse University told RT.
“The ICC has not necessarily proven its ability to effectively carry out justice in a way that is globally applied,” Marusek believes. “They don’t have the necessary facilities to arrest people. They don’t seem to have the capability to implement their plans. And even if they did, their plans are often, or seemingly, quite biased to target African leaders.”
The list of people ever indicted in the International Criminal Court includes 28 Africans.
Another big issue with the ICC is that in many countries it has no jurisdiction at all, so the principles of justice cannot be equally applied.
“The United States of America has not ratified the ICC,” said Marusek. “The president has, but the Congress never did. The ICC has no jurisdiction to try any American citizens.”
Moreover, Libya never ratified the ICC treaty either. But the Rome Statute 2002 grants certain powers to the United Nations Security Council, such as referring to the ICC situations that would not otherwise fall under the court’s jurisdiction, journalist and author Afshin Rattansi told RT.
“This is about Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who’s really got himself into a muddle over this one,” Rattansi said. “Libya was not even a signatory of the Imperial Criminal Court, or the International Criminal Court.”