LIBYA: Kadafi, his sons and close aides face possible prosecution
More than two dozen members of Libya’s regime, including Moammar Kadafi, his sons and senior aides could face charges of crimes against humanity pending the outcome of an investigation being launched by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the BBC reported Thursday.
"During the coming weeks, the office will investigate who are the most responsible for the most serious incidents, for the most serious crimes committed in Libya," chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters in The Hague, according to the BBC.
The British news agency’s correspondent in The Hague reported that Moreno-Ocampo’s office had identified at least nine incidents that could constitute crimes against humanity.
The most serious claim was that 257 people were killed by the authorities in the eastern city of Benghazi, between Feb. 15 and 20, the BBC said, citing information from the prosecutor’s office. Also under investigation are charges that another 26 people had been killed in three other towns in the region; the alleged killing by security forces of 14 protesters in the town of Misrata; and allegations of illegal detention, the BBC reported.
Moreno-Ocampo said his office could not confirm the bombing of civilians by planes, according the BBC. The chief prosector would also investigate charges of human rights violations committed by opposition forces, the news agency said.
According to the BBC's correspondent, up 15 people could face charges, including Kadafi, members of his inner circle and the heads of the various security agencies and military organizations.
Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told the BBC the case was "close to a joke," based solely on media reports, the news agency reported.
Meanwhile, one of Kadafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, told the British television network Sky News that the aerial bombardment of the eastern town of Port Brega earlier this week had been to “just to frighten them [rebels] to go away. Not to kill them.”
-- Ann M. Simmons
Image: Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said Libya's Moammar Kadafi, his sons and senior aides could face charges of crimes against humanity. Credit: Peter Dejong / Associated Press.