ICC in possible surrender talks with Gaddafi’s son

October 29th, 2011 - 10:19 pm ICT by BNO News  

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (BNO NEWS) — The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it is in indirect contact with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan leader, and is discussing his possible surrender to face charges for crimes against humanity.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the contact with Gaddafi has been through intermediaries and has been informal. “The Office of the Prosecutor has made it clear that if he surrenders to the ICC, he has the right to be heard in court, he is innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

“This is a legal process and if the judges decide that Saif is innocent, or has served his sentence, he can request the judges to send him to a different country as long as that country accepts him,” Moreno-Ocampo added.

The ICC previously issued arrest warrants last June for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, his son and the country’s intelligence chief, Abdullah Al Sanousi for their roles in alleged attacks against protesters, hundreds of whom are confirmed to have been killed since opposition forces rose up against the regime as part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East.

However, the prosecutor noted reports that there is a group of mercenaries who are offering to move al-Islam to an African country not party to the 1998 Rome Statute that established the ICC.

Therefore, the ICC is exploring the possibility of intercepting any plane within the airspace of a State party to make an arrest, Moreno-Ocampo explained.

Last week, Muammar Gaddafi was killed in his hometown of Sirte during the final days of the eight-month-long conflict. Moreno-Ocampo said his office is pushing efforts to carry out the arrest warrants against the other two men.

The Prosecutor has stated in the past that while Libya is not a State party to the Rome Statute, it has the primary responsibility to carry out the arrest warrants in compliance with the relevant resolution of the UN Security Council, which referred the situation in the country to the ICC.

Last Sunday, Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) declared the full liberation of the country, just days after the death of Gaddafi. The North African nation now faces a host of challenges, including organizing an electoral process, establishing public security and starting a reconciliation process.

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