Libya Defies The Hague

Prosecution officials in Libya have set a September trial date for Saif al-Islam, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, defying numerous calls from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try him at The Hague. Apparently, a committee from the Libyan Prosecutor General’s office has completed an investigation of crimes committed by Saif al-Islam from February 2011 to the present and a chargesheet has been prepared. The chargesheet will be approved in the coming days, and the trial will take place in Zintan, the Libyan city where al-Islam is currently being held.  Saif al-Islam is wanted by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity, but the Libyan government has continued to maintain that he should be tried in Libya since the alleged crimes were committed against the country of Libya and its people. Some officials and commentators have stressed that The Hague is the only place where Gaddafi’s son will receive a fair and just trial. However, the Prosecutor General Spokesperson, Taha Nasser Baara, added that the Prosecutor General had “solid proof in the form of sound recordings, images, documents, and testimony,” and that he believes “that this evidence is sufficient to condemn and judge him.”

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One comment

  1. In reality, we all know that Saif Al-Ilsam Gadhafi is guilty of war crimes as a result of the violent revolution which led to the overthrow of his father. The photos, videos, and news reports documenting the heinous acts which took place are but the tip of an evidentiary iceberg against Mr. Gadhafi. However, despite his nearly indisputable guilt, we must ask ourselves, “are we OK with the idea of a man (or woman) being tried in a location where the scales of justice are at a decided imbalance despite the presumption of guilty?”

    While a trial in Libya would go a long way toward national reconcilitation. The high standards of international justice seem to present no other option than a trial at the ICC. From a practical perspective, it seems nearly impossible to believe that Mr. Gadhafi can receive a fair and impartial trial when the very people who are attempting to try him are the ones who suffered the most during the uprising.

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