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Muammar Gaddafi's son makes first appearance in Libya court

The son of Libya's deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] appeared in court in Zintan, Libya, on Thursday. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is accused of transferring [Al Jazeera report] information related to Libya's national security to an International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] delegation. He is also accused of insulting Libya's new flag and attempting to escape from prison. Saif al-Islam's trial was postponed [BBC report] until May because he was not represented by a lawyer at the hearing. One of Saif al-Islam's co-defendants in the case related to information on Libya's national security is his ICC-appointed lawyer Melinda Taylor.

Earlier this month the ICC asked Libyan officials to address reports that they plan to try Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile], the former intelligence chief for Gaddafi. Libya has refused to hand the two men over to the ICC and announced plans to try them [JURIST reports] in Libya. In October Libyan government lawyers urged [JURIST report] the ICC to allow them to be tried in Libya and promised that the trial would be fair. In August Saif al-Islam stated that he preferred to be tried by the ICC [JURIST report] out of fear that Libya would not try him fairly. In June four ICC staff members who traveled to Libya to speak with Saif al-Islam, including Melinda Taylor, were detained [JURIST report] by Libyan security forces and were in custody for nearly four weeks before being released.

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