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Libya says Gaddafi son to be tried at home

Last Updated: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 20:52

Zintan: Moammar Gaddafi`s son and one-time heir apparent will be tried in Libya and not handed over to the International Criminal Court even though the country`s new rulers have yet to set up a justice system, the information minister said on Sunday.

The Libyan people want to see Saif al-Islam Gaddafi tried at home for the crimes he committed against the Libyan people, said the minister, Mahmoud Shammam.

Saif al-Islam, captured over the weekend, is wanted by the Netherlands-based ICC on charges of crimes against humanity.

"The ICC is just a secondary court, and the people of Libya will not allow Saif al-Islam to be tried outside," Shammam said on Sunday.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said Saturday that he will travel to Libya on Monday for talks with Libya`s National Transitional Council on where the trial will take place.

Ocampo said that while national governments have the first right to try their own citizens for war crimes, his primary goal was to ensure Saif al-Islam has a fair trial.

Shammam said the NTC will discuss its decision with Ocampo during his visit.

"It will take time for the trial to happen but this is natural," he said.

Human Rights Watch called for Saif al-Islam to be promptly turned over to the International Criminal Court in a statement, citing the apparent killings in custody of his father and brother Muatassim on Oct 20 as "particular cause for concern."

Saif al-Islam was captured in the southern Libyan desert early Saturday morning by revolutionary fighters from the town of Zintan, 85 miles (150 kilometers) southwest of Tripoli. He was flown back to Zintan where he remains in custody.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 20:52
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