War crimes prosecutor travels to Libya

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is concerned Saif al-Islam has a fair trial in Libya.

The Hague: The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Saturday he will travel to Libya next week for talks with the country`s transitional government on where Muammar Gaddafi`s son Saif al-Islam will be tried.

Gaddafi`s son — the only wanted member of the ousted ruling family to remain at large — was captured as he travelled with aides in a convoy in Libya`s southern desert, Libyan officials said on Saturday.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said that while national governments have the first right to try their own citizens for war crimes, he is concerned Saif al-Islam has a fair trial and that he be tried for the same charges he faces at the ICC.

"The good news is that Saif al-Islam is arrested, he is alive, and now he will face justice," Ocampo said in an interview on Saturday in The Hague.

"Where and how, we will discuss it," he said.

A spokesman for the Libyan fighters who captured him said Saif al-Islam, who has been charged by the ICC with crimes against humanity, was detained about 30 miles (50 kilometres) west of the town of Obari with two aides as he was trying to flee to neighbouring Niger. But the country`s acting justice minister later said the convoy`s destination was unconfirmed.

His capture just over a month after his father was killed leaves Gaddafi`s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi as the sole remaining member of the regime still wanted by the ICC, which indicted the three men in June for unleashing a campaign of murder and torture to suppress the uprising against Gaddafi that broke out in mid-February.

Prosecutor Ocampo said jurisdiction should not be hard to determine.

"The rules are, primacy for the national authorities, depending on if they have a case," he said.

But he added that judges at the ICC would have to formally approve a transfer of venue, under international law.

International human rights groups have called for Saif al-Islam to be transferred to The Hague out of concern for his safety after Muammar Gaddafi`s death at the hands of opposition forces last month.

Bureau Report

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