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Gaddafi family to file ICC war crimes complaint against NATO

The family of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary] announced Wednesday that they plan to file a complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official websites] for its alleged role in Gaddafi's death [JURIST report]. Lawyer for the Gaddafi family, Marcel Ceccaldi, spoke to France-based radio station Europe1 [Europe1 report, in French] and indicated that the complaint stems from information suggesting that NATO helicopters were firing at Gaddafi's convoy. Ceccaldi also accused NATO of firing on the convoy as part of its operation to eliminate the former Libyan leader and criticized the display of Gaddafi's body in Misrata. The family intends to file the complaint in the ICC, which has jurisdiction over war crimes that have occurred in Libya since February 15, 2011 after the UN Security counsel unanimously voted [JURIST report] to refer Libya to the court. The ICC has authority under the Rome Statute [text] to prosecute any person responsible directly or indirectly for the commission of war crimes. Ceccaldi did not indicate when the complaint would be filed, but did indicate it would target both NATO governing officials and the leaders of member states.

Gaddafi's family is not alone in requesting that his killing be investigated as a possible war crime. The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights [official website] on Friday called for a full investigation [JURIST report] into the death. Libya has also taken its own steps to investigate the death. Interim Libyan leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said Monday that he has ordered an investigation [JURIST report] into the death of the former leader. He said that the National Transition Council (NTC) [official website] has formed a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding Gaddafi's capture and death at the hands of opposition forces in his hometown of Sirte. Human rights groups including Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] and international governments have also called for an official investigation. In June, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the "de facto Prime Minister," and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi [warrants, PDF], the head of intelligence, for alleged crimes against the people of Libya to quell the revolt that began in February. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi still remains at large [Reuters report].

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