Kadhafi spy chief appeals ICC move to defer trial to Libya

17th October 2013, Comments 0 comments

Lawyers for the former spy chief of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi on Thursday launched an appeal against the International Criminal Court's historic ruling that he should be tried in Libya.

The ICC ruled last week that Abdallah al-Senussi, 63, should face trial in Libya, the first time it has deferred a case to a national judiciary.

ICC judges concluded the case was "inadmissible before the court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity," ending a lengthy legal tug-of-war between authorities in Libya and the court based in the The Hague.

The ICC's founding document, the Rome Statute, says the court cannot try suspects if they are receiving a fair trial on similar charges in a domestic court.

But lawyer Ben Emmerson argued in an appeal made public Thursday that Libya was "unable and unwilling genuinely to conduct fair proceedings" against his client in Libya.

Judges had "erred in finding that his case was inadmissible before the ICC," charged Emmerson.

"He has been detained in Libya for nearly 13 months without access to any lawyer despite his repeated requests to see a lawyer ... he is cut off from the world and has been denied family visits and telephone calls," added Emmerson.

A Tripoli court is to decide on October 24 whether to indict Senussi, among 20 senior figures from Kadhafi's regime charged with killing protesters during the 2011 revolt that toppled him.

The court will also decide the fate of Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, who is also wanted in The Hague.

The ICC said on Friday that its decision over Senussi held no bearing on the case against Seif.

© 2013 AFP

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