ICC refers Libya to Security Council over Qaddafi son

The Hague-based ICC said in May that Tripoli must hand him over

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The International Criminal Court on Wednesday referred Libya to the U.N. Security Council for not handing over fallen strongman Muammar Qaddafi's son Seif al-Islam for trial.

"The chamber is of the view that it is appropriate to make a finding of non-compliance by Libya with the court's requests for cooperation at issue and refer the matter to the Security Council," the court said in a statement.

Seif, 42, is the subject of a legal tug-of-war between Tripoli and the ICC over where he should stand trial on charges relating to the bloody repression of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed his father.

Although Seif is being held by a Libyan militia in northern hilltop stronghold Zintan rather than any central authority in the chaos-wracked country, The Hague-based ICC said in May that Tripoli must hand him over.

The ICC said on Wednesday that it "recognized that throughout the proceedings, Libya demonstrated in several respects its commitment to the court and made genuine efforts to maintain a constructive dialogue."

"The chamber also noted the volatile political and security situation in Libya and stated that it was sensitive to the serious difficulties that Libya is currently facing."

The Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the ICC in February 2011 amid Qaddafi's repression of the popular uprising against his decades-old regime at the height of the Arab Spring.

The ICC said its move was not intended "to sanction or criticize Libya but solely to seek the assistance of the Security Council to eliminate the impediments to cooperation."

Authorities in Tripoli are unable to obtain the transfer of Qaddafi's one-time heir apparent to the Libyan capital from his prison in Zintan, southwest of the capital.

Seif has been charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the violent attempts to suppress the 2011 uprising in the desert country.

A one-time member of Qaddafi's inner circle and Libya's de facto prime minister, Seif was nabbed by fighters in November 2011.

More than three years after Qaddafi's downfall, the country is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and has rival governments and parliaments.

The U.N. on Monday postponed a new round of peace talks between Libya's warring factions aimed at ending months of violence and political deadlock.

Fierce clashes persist in second city Benghazi and west of Tripoli between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government and a rebel group of mainly Islamist militias.

A previous attempt to arrange U.N.-brokered talks between the different factions in June was unsuccessful.

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