The Hague: The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor will travel to Tripoli on Tuesday to meet Libyan authorities following the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam, his office said.
“Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is to lead a delegation which will meet with Libyan authorities as part of coordination efforts following the arrest of Seif al-Islam and unconfirmed reports regarding the arrest of Abdullah al-Senussi,” a statement said.
The world war crimes court on 27 June issued arrest warrants against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and his security chief Abdullah al-Senussi for committing crimes against humanity in trying to put down Libya’s bloody revolt.
Seifal-Islam is seen after his capture in the custody of revolutionary fighters in Zintan, Libya on 19 November, 2011. AP
The northern African country’s new National Transitional Council said Sunday Senussi had been arrested, a day after Seif was caught in southern Libya.
But Libyan authorities also insisted the men should be tried in Libya, despite international pressure to have them sent to The Hague, where the ICC is based.
Libya’s acting prime minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib on Saturday promised the men would get a “fair trial in which international rights and norms will be guaranteed.”
For his part, Moreno-Ocampo said: “Seif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi must face justice. The issue of where the trials will be held has to be resolved through consultations with the court.”
“In the end, the ICC judges will decide, there are legal standards which will have to be adhered to,” he added.
Following strongman Gadhafi’s death in October, Seif, 39, and Senussi, 62, remained the former regime’s most wanted fugitives for their suppression of the Libyan revolution, sparked in mid-February, until the weekend’s arrests.
“Their arrest is a crucial step in bringing to justice those most responsible for crimes committed in Libya,” the prosecutor said, adding “this is not a military or political issue, it is a legal requirement.”
The ICC, who received the green light to probe crimes in Libya through a UN Security Council resolution on 26 February, can only prosecute perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity if a country itself is unwilling or unable to do so.
The conflict in Libya ended on 23 October with the NTC’s announcement of the northern African country’s “total liberation”, three days after Gadhafi’s death.