ICC officials freed by Libya reach The Netherlands

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 17:06

Zeenews Bureau

Zintan: Four envoys of the International Criminal Court who were detained in Libya last month after visiting the son of slain leader Moamer Gaddafi arrived Tuesday in the Netherlands, an ICC spokesman said.

"The President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, together with four ICC staff members previously detained in Zintan, Libya, ... Have left Tripoli to return tonight (Monday) to The Hague, the Netherlands. They arrived in the Netherlands late on Monday," said Fadi El-Abdallah, spokesman for the ICC in a statement.

Their release came as ICC president Sang-Hyun Song was visiting Libya.

The team had been accused of spying while visiting Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in the town of Zintan.

The four returned "on a plane generously provided by the Italian government, following the release of the four ICC staff members," he added.

The four, including Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, have been held in Zintan southwest of Tripoli since June 7 after travelling there to help prepare Seif al-Islam`s defence.
Taylor was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif al-Islam a coded letter from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by the Libyan authorities.

The other three detained ICC staffers were Taylor`s interpreter from Lebanon, Helen Assaf, and two colleagues, Russian Alexander Khodakov and Esteban Peralta Losilla from Spain.
Saif al-Islam has been indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity but Libya has insisted he should be tried by a Libyan court.

They are still scheduled to appear before a court.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 09:58

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