Slain Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam believes he should be tried before the International Criminal Court if justice is to be served, his lawyers said Tuesday.
“The only way for Libya and the Libyan people to have justice is for the ICC to try this case in a fair, impartial and independent manner,” he was quoted as saying in a defense document submitted to the court.
The Hague-based ICC has issued warrants against both Seif and his late father’s spymaster, Abdullah Senussi, for crimes against humanity committed while trying to put down last year’s bloody revolt.
Seif has been in custody in the southern Libyan town of Zintan since his November in the wake of the uprising that toppled Qaddafi after more than 40 years in power.
The ICC and the Libyan government are locked in a dispute over where Seif should be tried.
“I would have liked to have been tried in Libya by Libyan judges under Libyan law in front of the Libyan people,” Seif was quoted as saying in the document, issued after ICC lawyers visited him last month.
“There will also be no truth if witnesses are faced with possible life sentences for simply testifying in my favour,” he said. “I am not afraid to die but if you execute me after such a trial you should just call it murder.”
His international lawyer Melinda Taylor and four ICC staff members were freed earlier this month after being held in Libya four almost four weeks while visiting Seif on behalf of the court.
Taylor said after her release that she believed it would be “impossible” for Seif to be tried in an independent and impartial manner in Libyan courts.