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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi must be hurled before ICC - UN rights chief


The United Nations (UN) Human Rights chief says the trial Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, should be transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Libyan trial of Saif ‘‘fell short of international norms and standards for fair trial and also breached Libyan law in some aspects.’‘

In his view, ‘‘The trial was a missed opportunity for justice,’‘ and it will only take the Hague based outfit to right the legal and rights anomalies committed this far. According to him, Saif had to be hurled before the ICC over murder charges.

Since the fall of his father’s regime six years ago, Saif has been held in Zintan, a mountainous western region, by one of the factions that began contending for power after Gaddafi was killed.

He was sentenced to death in July 2015 by a Tripoli court for war crimes, including killing protesters during the revolution. Zintani forces refused to hand him over, saying they did not trust Tripoli to guarantee he does not escape.

A UN report on the trial however stated that there were grave rights violations across the process leading to his death sentence along with over 30 others.

Among others, the report cited prolonged detention of defendants without access to their families and legal representatives and also allegations of torture which were not conclusively looked into.

Saif, a former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and former Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi were among nine defendants sentenced to death by firing squad.

“The Libyan Government has been unable to secure the arrest and surrender of (Gaddafi), who remains in Zintan and is considered to be outside the control of the internationally-recognised Libyan authorities,” the report added.

The report, by the U.N. human rights office and U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), urged Libyan authorities to reform the criminal justice system saying that the trial had highlighted “major flaws”.

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