REPORTING FROM TRIPOLI, LIBYA, AND BEIRUT -- The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor on Tuesday said Moammar Kadafi’s captured son and onetime heir apparent can be tried in Libya, provided that international standards are met.
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, to confer with the country’s transitional leaders about the handling of Seif Islam Kadafi, who was captured Saturday in the southern Saharan hinterlands and is being held in the western town of Zintan.
The international court has charged the younger Kadafi with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during attempts to suppress the uprising that toppled his father, who was slain last month while in the custody of his captors during the fall of his hometown, Surt. But the country’s transitional leaders want Kadafi to face justice in Libya.
“Our International Criminal Court acts when the national system cannot act,” Moreno-Ocampo told reporters in Tripoli. “If they prosecute the case here, we will discuss with them how to inform the judges and they can do it. But our judges have to be involved."
The provisional authorities have yet to establish a functioning government or legal system. Prime Minister-designate Abdurrahim Keib was expected to announce the Cabinet lineup Tuesday amid intense wrangling between competing regional and ideological factions.
Human rights organizations have urged Libya to turn over Kadafi to the international court along with former intelligence chief Abdullah Sanoussi, who was also reported captured over the weekend.
The country’s acting justice minister, Mohammed Alagi, said Kadafi would receive a fair trial in Libya, where he faces a likely death sentence.
“We are inviting international organizations to witness the trial,” Alagi told the Times after preliminary talks with Moreno-Ocampo.
-- Ruth Sherlock in Tripoli and Alexandra Zavis in Beirut
Photo: Libya's interim justice minister, Mohammed Alagi, left, and International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in Tripoli on Tuesday. Credit: Sabri Elmhedwi / European Pressphoto Agency