A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Libya urged to turn Gaddafi military chief over to ICC

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Thursday urged [press release] the Libyan government to hand over former military intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [JURIST news archive] to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to face charges of crimes against humanity. Fearing there is little chance al-Senussi, a high-ranking member of the Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] regime, could get a fair trial in Libya, AI has requested that Libyan authorities honor the ICC's outstanding arrest warrant. According to Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at AI, "fair trials are still out of reach," in Libya, undermining "the right of victims to see justice and reparation." AI met with several government officials and lawyers last month who allegedly relayed stories of threats and intimidation, especially for those who might represent Gaddafi loyalists and officials like al-Senussi. AI claims that al-Senussi has had access to "no independent organizations, relatives or his lawyers" and that the ICC is the only opportunity he has for a trial achieving real justice. Sahraoui noted "A year after the end of hostilities, victims of serious human rights abuses—by the former government as well as its opponents—have yet to see justice. What we witness today in Libya is revenge and not justice."

Al-Senussi was extradited to Libya [JURIST report] from Mauritania in September on charges of murder and persecution for planning attacks on civilians during the Libya conflict as well as organizing mass rapes [JURIST report]. The extradition to Libya happened despite a June 2011 ICC arrest warrant [JURIST report] for al-Senussi, Gaddafi and Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [JURIST news archive]. Earlier this month the Libyan government requested that the ICC allow Saif al-Islam to stand trial in Libya [JURIST report] rather than the ICC, promising a fair trial could be held internally. Libyan prosecutors in August announced [Al Jazeera report] that the prosecutors had completed their investigation of Saif al-Islam's alleged crimes and will soon approve a charge sheet, but in September it postponed [JURIST report] his trial for five months so the prosecution could obtain additional evidence from al-Senussi.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.