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FACTDROP: Saif Gaddafi 'wants to be tried in Libya'


Saif Gaddafi 'wants to be tried in Libya'

Πηγή: The Telegraph
By Damien McElroy
April 12 2012

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the imprisoned son of the former Libyan dictator, has aligned himself with the new government by declaring his opposition to extradition to face war crimes charges in The Hague.

International Criminal Court investigators who met with Saif Gaddafi at a mountaintop detention centre south of Tripoli earlier this month said that he had expressed a preference to be tried in his own country, even if he faced the death penalty.

The ICC also confirmed that Gaddafi had suffered torture and abuse after he was captured last November.

The comments appear to have been made under duress with a government official sitting in on the discussion. Even so, the stakes for Gaddafi could not be higher. Deportation for an ICC trial would remove threat of a death sentence even if he was convinced of all counts in the war crimes trials.

Judges from the ICC travelled to Libya in an advance of a ruling that the country was in violation of UN Security council resolutions by not handing over the 39-year old one time playboy.

"I hope I can be tried here in my country, whether they will execute me or not," he told two ICC officials, who were accompanied by officials from the Zintan militia that is holding Gaddafi.

The report said his comments were "playing the part for the benefit of the (Libyan) prosecutor," who was present in the hour-long meeting.

In the brief interval that the prosecutor left the room, the ICC team asked him if he was mistreated. Although Gaddafi refused to speak, he made two telling gestures.

"His attitude changed from relaxed to intense and without saying a word he waved the hand where two fingers were missing and pointed to a missing tooth in the upper front" the report released by the ICC said.

The Tripoli government has lodged a formal appeal against the ICC verdict finding it in breach of international law.

Leading officials said that Tripoli is preparing its own trial for Gaddafi and has renovated a facility outside Tripoli for the purpose of holding such an event.

"We will respect the international law but we do have a lot of respect for our Libyan law and I guarantee you there will be no problem," Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib said.

Marek Marczynski, an Amnesty International researcher, said Libya had not demonstrated the capability to conduct a complex trial and should comply with the ICC ruling.

"The main thing is not that if the Libyan administration can organise a courtroom," he said. "The main thing is the Libyan justice system: is it able to deliver justice to the highest standard of international law."

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