Gaddafi et al. – local or international justice?

20 October 2011 by Geraldine Coughlan

The death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has sparked speculation about what this means for international justice. Obviously, the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in June, will die with him.

But his son Saif al-Islam and spymaster Abdullah al-Senussi are still being sought by the ICC in The Hague, for murder and persecution allegedly committed across Libya in February, through the state apparatus and security forces.

There have been calls to put Gaddafi et al. on trial in Libya, by the rebel National Transitional Council, echoed by France and Britain. Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi, if captured – or if they surrender – will face trial at the ICC, which was authorised to investigate the situation in Libya, by the UN Security Council.

As a result, the ICC – the world’s criminal court – has first say. So, the two must face trial in The Hague, not in Tripoli.

Cairo - why not Tripoli?
With Egypt's Hosni Mubarak on trial in Cairo, many are asking whether the National Transitional Council (NTC) could put other members of Gaddafi’s former regime on trial in Tripoli.

Libya has not signed up as a member of the ICC and as the court does not have its own police force, there’s no one available to go and arrest the ‘wanted men’ - Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi.

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