By Claire Valdini
Son of slain former dictator to stand trial in home country, defying International Criminal Court
The trial of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, will be heard in Libya, defying the International Criminal Court (ICC), Libya’s representative to The Hague court said.
Ahmed Al Jehani said Gaddafi’s trial will begin in September and is likely to be heard in the mountain town of Zintan, where he has been held since his capture in November, the Associated Press said.
The ICC and Libyan authorities are locked in dispute over where he should be tried. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi, who was considered his father’s political heir, and his late father’s chief, Abdullah Senussi, for crimes against humanity committed while trying to put down last year’s bloody revolt.
The ICC has argued that Libya is not capable of giving a fair trial but authorities in the country have resisted attempts to transfer him to The Hague.
Gaddafi last month argued he would not get a fair trial in Libya and said if he is executed it would be tantamount to murder, his defence lawyers said in a court filing to the ICC.
“I am not afraid to die but if you execute me after such a trial you should just call it murder and be done with it,” he said in reference to a trial in Libya.