Russia urges fair trial for captured Saif al-Islam

November 20th, 2011 - 5:57 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 20 (IANS) Russia Saturday hailed Libyan leaders’ decision to send Saif al-Islam, the arrested son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, to court and expressed hope that he would receive a fair trial, RIA Novosti reported.

“The international community today keeps close watch on Libyan authorities’ ability to defend the results of war victory since the compliance with the generally accepted rules of treating captives is the key factor of this ability,” Russia’s presidential envoy to Africa Mikhail Margelov said.

Saif al-Islam was arrested Saturday in southern Libya and then brought by plane to the northwestern town of Zintan, where the angry crowd attempted to storm the aircraft.

He has been on the run since the National Transitional Council’s forces took over Tripoli in late August.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) had issued warrants June 27 against him, his father and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Russian envoy praised Libyan leaders for not handing al-Islam to the crowd that could lynch him in a matter of moment like it was with his father, who was captured and killed by rebels near his home town of Sirte late October.

The ICC) said that Libya should surrender Saif al-Islam. However, the ICC did not rule out that Gaddafi’s son would be tried in Libya rather than in The Hague.

Libyan interim government however wants a trial for Saif al-Islam only on Libyan territory.

The European Union described the arrest of Gaddafi’s son as “a very significant development” and called for Libyan leaders to cooperate with the ICC.

Saif’s father Muammar Gaddafi was killed Oct 20 soon after his capture by rebel forces during the final battle for his hometown Sirte.

Gaddafi ruled Libya for over four decades till he was overthrown in a popular revolution that started in February.

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