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ICC finds case against former Libya spy chief inadmissible

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] ruled [decision, PDF] Friday that the case against former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is inadmissible before the ICC [press release] and can be heard by domestic courts in Libya. The court found that, because "Al-Senussi is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation," the case is inadmissible before the court based on the principle of complementarity found in the ICC's formative document, the Rome Statute [text, PDF]. Al-Senussi's lawyer plans to appeal the decision [BBC report].

Al-Senussi was indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity stemming from the alleged murders and persecution of Libyan protesters during the Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder] and uprising in 2011. The ICC's decision Friday marks the most recent development in a legal battle between Libya and the ICC [JURIST op-ed] regarding al-Senussi and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the son of Libya's deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. In July the ICC rejected [JURIST report] Libya's request to suspend the order to hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. In June Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's lawyer accused Libyan officials [JURIST report] of defying the ICC by announcing that Saif al-Islam's trial would begin in August. In February the ICC ordered Libya to extradite al-Senussi [JURIST report] to face charges of crimes against humanity for his role in the 2011 uprising.

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