ICC prosecutor has evidence against Gaddafi son for planning civilian attacks

ICC prosecutor has evidence against Gaddafi son for planning civilian attacks

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[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said Sunday that he has evidence against Saif al-Islam Gaddafi for his role in planning attacks on Libyan civilians. According to Ocampo, Saif al-Islam, who remains on the run from authorities, hired mercenaries [Reuters report] to assist him in carrying out his plans to attack civilians that protested the rule of his father, Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. The “substantial evidence” against Saif al-Islam is mostly in the form of witness reports, and the court remains in indirect contact with him, where there has been talk of a possible surrender [JURIST reports]. The ICC had previously met with Libyan rebel leaders, who had allegedly captured Saif al-Islam [JURIST report], in August to discuss turning him over to authorities for the purposes of a prosecution. However, Saif was free by September, when he vowed to continue fighting [Telegraph report].

The ability of the ICC to negotiate a possible surrender of Saif al-Islam is a result of his desire to avoid the fate of his father, who was killed by opposition fighters [JURIST report] earlier this month. On Monday, Interim Libyan leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil [official profile] ordered an investigation into Gaddafi’s death. He said that the National Transition Council [official website] has formed a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding Gaddafi’s capture and death in his hometown of Sirte. Abdul-Jalil’s statement came amid pressure [JURIST report] from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website], rights groups including Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] and international governments for an official investigation. Cell phone videos [WARNING: graphic images] taken during Gaddafi’s capture have surfaced depicting wounded and bloodied Gaddafi alive but enduring torment and beatings by his captors while being carried and placed into the back of a truck. An autopsy confirmed that Gaddafi died from a gun shot wound to the head [AP report], but Abdul-Jalil suggested Monday that Gaddafi may have been killed by his own supporters [AP report] to prevent him from implicating them in any crimes under his regime.