Ajar trial adjourned in Tripoli

15 April 2014 by Christopher Stephen, Tripoli (Libya)

In the biggest trial in Libya since the 2011 revolution, only 23 of the 37 accused were present at the Tripoli Appeal Court hearings in Al Hadba prison, for the start on Monday April 14.

Al-Senussi sat on the front right of two rows of defendants, dressed in pale blue shirts and trousers, arranged behind a black steel cage. He looked thin and tired, a contrast to his usually rugged physique, but neither he nor the other defendants displayed signs of any physical abuse. Security was tight in the courtroom, an ochre-coloured building within a large prison complex with a large presence of militias and armed police. The few journalists allowed into the opening of the trial were asked to surrender their mobile phones and their pens, being handed ballpoint pens by court officials in exchange. Al-Senussi, Gaddafi's former spy chief told the court he had only just secured a lawyer. Five days ago I signed a paper with a defence lawyer.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was due to appear via video link after militia in the mountain town of Zintan refused to hand him to Tripoli. But the TV monitor showed only an empty courtroom until a militiaman appeared on screen to switch it off without explanation.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.