Russia Urges Fair Trial For Captured Gaddafi Son Seif al-Islam
By Ria Novosti
Russia’s presidential envoy to Africa Mikhail Margelov has hailed Libyan leaders’ decision to send the arrested son of Muammar Gaddafi, Seif al-Islam, to court and expressed hope he would receive a fair trial.
“The international community today keeps close watch on Libyan authorities’ ability to defend the results of war victory since the compliance with the generally accepted rules of treating captives is the key factor of this ability,” Margelov said.
Saif al-Islam was arrested on Saturday in southern Libya and then brought by plane to the northwestern town of Zintan, where the angry crowd attempted to storm the aircraft.
Russian envoy praised Libyan leaders for not handing al-Islam to the crowd that could lynch him in a matter of moment like it was with his father, who was captured and killed by rebels near his home town of Sirte in late October.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said that Libya should surrender Seif al-Islam. However, the ICC did not rule out that Gaddafi’s son would be tried in Libya rather than in The Hague.
“If Libyan authorities believe that a trial at national level is a better solution, they can ask that the case not be admitted in The Hague based on the court’s complementary principle,” Al Arabiya quoted the Court’s spokesman, Fadi al-Abdallah as saying.
Libyan interim government however wants a trial for Seif al-Islam only on Libyan territory.
The European Union described the arrest of Gaddafi’s son as “a very significant development” and called for Libyan leaders to cooperate with the ICC.
“It is important for future national reconciliation that those responsible for human rights violations committed both before and during the recent conflict are brought to justice and that the facts surrounding such violations are brought to light,” the EU’s Foreign Affaires Chief, Catherine Ashton said.
Saif al-Islam will likely be tried in Libya and could be sentenced to death, Reuters quoted Libya’s interim justice minister, Mohammed al-Alagy as saying.
“He has instigated others to kill, has misused public funds, threatened and instigated and even took part in recruiting and bringing in mercenaries…This is just a small account of the crimes that the Libyan prosecutor general is going to bring against him,” al-Alagy told Reuters.
In October, Interpol and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have called for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to turn himself in. Interpol said both institutions would provide his safe transition to The Hague where he is accused of crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution.