Tripoli need not immediately hand over the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s former spy chief, Abdullah Senussi, to the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity, the Hague-based court said Friday.
The temporary suspension of the order requiring Libya to hand Senussi over came amid a legal tug-of-war between the ICC and Tripoli over where Senussi and also Qaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam should be tried.
The ICC is mulling a request to put Senussi and Qaddafi’s son on trial in Libya, where the two men are being held, while the ICC itself wants to try them on charges of crimes against humanity committed in the conflict that in 2012 ousted Muammar Qaddafi, who was later slain.
Friday’s ICC ruling said that “Libya... may postpone the execution of the surrender request pending determination of the admissibility challenge.”
Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said on June 2 that Libya would appeal an ICC decision to prosecute Seif al-Islam instead of letting domestic justice handle the case.
The ICC said on May 31 that “it had not been sufficiently demonstrated that Libya’s domestic investigation covers the same case that is before the court.”
Seif al-Islam, 40, is being held by a brigade of former rebel fighters in Zintan, 180 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of Tripoli, since his capture in November 2011, five months after the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest.
The ICC was mandated by the U.N. Security Council to investigate the Libyan conflict.
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