The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Moreno-Ocampo, conceded that the captured son of Muammar Gaddafi may be tried in Libya and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Libya is still struggling to build new institutions after Muammar Gaddafi’s forty-two year rule. The ICC has indicted Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam but might allow the trial to be held in Libya as long as the Libyan Court complies with the ICC standards.
The ICC prosecutor, Moreno-Ocampo, stated, “Saif is captured so we are here to ensure cooperation. Now in May, we requested an arrest warrant because Libyans could not do justice in Libya. Now as Libyans are decided to do justice, they could do justice and we’ll help them to do it, so that is the system.” What was the big change from May until now? In May, Libyan officials were not capable of doing justice, but now, six months later, their judicial system is up and running smoothly?
A main difference between the ICC and Libyan’s judicial system is the issue of the death penalty. Libya has not taken the death penalty off of the table for criminal punishment, the ICC’s severest punishment is life imprisonment. Even though the ICC might allow Libya to take the reigns on this trial, they will continue to monitor the case and even have their own judges involved, according to Moreno-Ocampo. Does this make up for the short time Libya has had the infrastructure to “do justice?”
Do you think that the fragile state of Libya is up to this task? Should the ICC allow them to take the lead on this case and prosecute Saif? Usually the ICC would prosecute this type of crime against humanity under these circumstances, is it fair that Saif might face the death penalty rather than life in prison under ICC punishment? Do you think the ICC is backing off because so many might wish to see Saif receive the death penalty?