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ICC Prosecutor Calls on Libya to Give Up Saif Gaddafi “Without Further Delay”

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has repeatedly requested that the Libyan Government transfer Saif Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, to ICC custody.

Saif has been handed the death penalty in Libya, however, the ICC recently requested that Libyan officials give Saif to the ICC “without further delay”.

On Wednesday, Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s prosecutor called on “the Libyan authorities to do everything in their power to hand over (Saif) Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court without further delay in line with its obligations under the Rome Statute.”

Saif is currently in the custody of a Zintani battalion led by Ajami Aotaira, who the ICC has addressed andrequested the immediate transfer of Saif so that he can be prosecuted in the Hague.

Bensouda also asked the UN Security Council to apply sanctions on Aotaira and his battalion known as the “Abu Bakr battalion” who have not pledged allegiance to the UN-backed Libyan Government in Tripoli.

“I appeal to this Council to recognise the collective responsibility arising out of your referral and to support financial assistance by the United Nations for my Office’s Libya investigations in 2017. The Libyan people deserve no less,” said Bensouda.

Bensouda said that reports stating that Saif had been released earlier this year are untrue,“I must report to you that reliable sources, including the Libyan Prosecutor-General’s office, have confirmed this information to be incorrect,” she said.

She added that “our office is monitoring the situation in Libya on the ground and the investigation we probed, though relatively slow, is underway plus we’re going to issue arrest warrants soon.”

Bensouda’s statements comes after a delegation from the Libyan Human Rights Solidarity in the Hague paidher a visit and asked her to submit a report to the ICC regarding human rights violations committed in Libya, one of them being the displacement of thousands of Benghazi families.

One of the victims shared his story to the ICC prosecutor of being forced to leave his home after it was taken from him. The Derna resident explained the human rights violations he endured after General Khalifa Haftar’s forces imposed a siege on the city. The man who told the story said he has not been able to see his family since 2014. The tragic story of a family from Ganfouda Benghazi was also shared with Bensouda.

“When I saw the video in which a Haftar affiliated fighter spoke his intention about killing all males in Benghazi from the age 14 above, I immediately had a flashback about the speech delivered before the Srebrenica massacre that was committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when a Serbian militia leader vowed to kill all males from 14 above,” said the ICC’s law prosecution team lead.

“We won’t let another Srebrenica massacre happen in Libya, we are watching the situation closely and we have begun to make our contacts with the relevant Libyan authorities,” he added.

Human rights violations in Libya exponentially increased as widespread civil unrest spread across the North African nation in 2011 and eventually brought the Gaddafi regime to an end. Many human rights violations have been attributed to Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif during the family’s 42 year reign.

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