Saturday, June 1, 2013

ICC rejects Libyan challenge in case against Gaddafi


The son of former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi is suspected of crimes against humanity (Photo credit: Reuters)

On Friday, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected the challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi.

The son of former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi is suspected of crimes against humanity – including murder and persecution of protestors, allegedly committed in Libya from February 15-28, 2011.

“The Chamber reminded Libya of its obligation to surrender the suspect to the Court. The Libyan authorities may appeal this decision or submit another challenge to the admissibility in accordance with article 19(4) of the Rome Statute,” ICC said on May 31, 2013.

A challenge to the admissibility of the case is granted if the case is being investigated by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution, the ICC explains.

One year ago, May 2012, Libya submitted the challenge to the admissibility of the case against Mr. Gaddafi.

The ICC noted that the Chamber conducted an assessment of the evidence presented by the parties and the participants, and concluded that it has not been sufficiently demonstrated that the domestic investigation cover the same case that is before the Court.

Though the Chamber recognized Libya’s significant efforts to rebuild institutions and to restore the rule of law, however, it stressed that the Libyan State continues to face substantial difficulties in exercising fully its judicial powers across the entire territory.

The Hague-based United Nations-backed ICC said the Libyan authorities have not been able to secure the transfer of Mr Gaddafi into State custody. “Impediments remain to obtain the necessary evidence, and secure legal representation for Mr Gaddafi,” the Chamber added.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Government did not state whether it will appeal against the ICC’s Friday decision, file another challenge to the admissibility of the case, or fulfill its obligation to surrender Gaddafi to the ICC.

The North African country said it will examine the decision and put up a legal response, according to media reports.

The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC is composed of three Judges, Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, Presiding, Hans-Peter Kaul, and Christine Van den Wyngaert. 


Written by Modou S. Joof
 
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