Libya must hand over Gaddafi's son: ICC

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A pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled that Libya must extradite Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, to The Hague.

The ICC charged Saif al-Islam in June 2012 with crimes against humanity committed during the revolution that toppled his father in 2011.

The Libyan government had challenged the ICC’s right to try Saif al-Islam on the grounds that since Tripoli was planning to put him on trial in a local court, the ICC had no jurisdiction to start its own proceedings, because The Hague-based court only intervenes if the local justice system is not functioning.

The pre-trial chamber’s judges on Friday rejected Libyaâ„¢s request to halt the prosecution of Saif al-Islam for the alleged crimes.

“The chamber concluded that it has not been sufficiently demonstrated that (Libya’s) domestic investigation (covers) the same case that is before the court,” the judges said in a statement.

The judges at The Hague recognized “Libya’s significant efforts to rebuild institutions and to restore the rule of law,” the statement noted.

However, Libya continued to “face substantial difficulties in exercising fully its judicial powers across the entire territory,” it added.

Since November 2011, the 40-year-old has been in the custody of a local militia in the western mountain city of Zintan, where the writ of the central government runs weakly.

“Libya has not yet been able to secure the transfer of Mr. (Saif al-Islam) Gaddafi from his place of detention under the custody of the Zintan militia into State authority,” judges wrote, adding they were “not persuaded that this problem may be resolved in the near future.”

Libyans rose up against Muammar Gaddafiâ„¢s four-decade rule in February 2011 and deposed him in August 2011. He was slain on October 20 of the same year.

GJH/MHB

This article originally appeared on: Press TV