International court rejects Saif Gaddafi call to drop arrest warrant

2 November 2018

A call by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi ­– son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and de facto Prime Minister of the country during the time of his father’s rule – for an international arrest warrant against him to be ruled inadmissible, was rejected by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), on Friday.

Fatou Bensouda, delivering her latest six-monthly statement to the Security Council on the situation in Libya, said that her office maintains that Mr. Gaddafi must be arrested and surrendered to the Court.

In the international warrant, issued by the ICC in June 2011, Mr. Gaddafi is accused of playing a key role in planning the suppression of civilian demonstrations by any means, including lethal force, against his father’s regime.

In June Mr. Gaddafi argued that, because of ongoing domestic proceedings conducted against him in Libya, he cannot be tried at the ICC: this argument is rejected by the Court and the case, said Ms. Bensouda, remains admissible: because Mr. Gaddafi’s challenge is currently sub judice, she was not willing to share further details.

Mr. Gaddafi is just one of several individuals in Libya whose alleged criminal acts could fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC which, said Ms. Bensouda, continues to monitor criminal actions of armed groups in the country:

“These armed groups represent a major threat to long-term peace and stability in Libya. We do not confine our investigations to any one group; we look at alleged Rome Statute  [the treaty that established the ICC] crimes committed by actors across the territory of Libya…these alleged crimes include killings, sexual violence, torture and enslavement.”

Ms. Bensouda said that her Office continues to make “considerable progress” in the Libya situation but admitted that “not one suspect” has so far been surrendered to the ICC.

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