Libya, ICC dispute deepens over where to try Saif al-Islam Qaddafi

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A ruling by the International Criminal Court to hand over Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of former ruler Muammar Qaddafi, will be appealed by Libya, the justice minister said on Sunday.

“We will give what is needed to convince the ICC that Libya is capable of conducting a fair trial in accordance with international standards,” the state LANA news agency quoted Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani as saying.

On Friday, the ICC rejected a bid by the North African country to halt its prosecution of Saif al-Islam for crimes against humanity committed while trying to put down Libya’s 2011 armed uprising.

“The chamber concluded that it has not been sufficiently demonstrated that [Libya’s] domestic investigation [covers] the same case that is before the court,” the ICC said in a summary of the decision, according to Reuters news agency.

Currently being held by a brigade of former rebel fighters in Zintan, 180km southwest of Tripoli, it has been five months after the ICC issued a warrant for Saif al-Islam’s arrest.

The slain dictator’s son, 40, was captured in November 2011. He was a powerful figure in his father’s government and has been accused of orchestrating brutal reprisals against anti-Qaddafi protesters.

Libya’s new rulers are keen to try Qaddafi loyalists at home to show the country’s citizens that those who helped Qaddafi stay in power for 42 years are being punished.

But human rights activists worry that a weak government and rule of law in Libya may mean that legal proceedings there will not meet international standards.

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