S.African law firm may defend Kadhafi: report

31st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

A South African law firm is involved in talks to defend Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi against charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, a newspaper said Tuesday.

According to The Times newspaper, Libyan officials entered into a "mandate agreement" with Langa Attorneys to provide legal advice and services to Kadhafi and other top leaders three weeks ago.

"The deal will include defending the Libyan government officials in the event that they are hauled before the International Criminal Court (in The Hague) on charges of human rights abuses," a source told the newspaper.

The firm had been asked to to assemble a team of international law experts to put together Kadhafi's defence strategy if he quits, says the report.

The ICC's chief prosecutor has sought an arrest warrant for Kadhafi, accusing the Libyan leader of having ordered his forces to gun down civilians in their homes, at funerals and outside mosques.

South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday held talks with Kadhafi in Tripoli, but failed to close the gap between the Libyan leader and rebels on a peace plan proposed by the African Union.

Rebeln have rejected the AU proposal, which calls for a ceasefire and political reforms, but falls short of their demand for Kadhafi to leave power.

© 2011 AFP

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