ICC staff in Libya to face 45 days detention: report

ICC staff in Libya to face 45 days detention: report

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[JURIST] The four International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] staff members who are being held in Libya will remain in “preventative” detention for 45 days while an investigation is conducted, a anonymous judicial source told AFP [report] on Monday. The four ICC detainees traveled to Libya Wednesday to meet with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] and were detained on Thursday [JURIST report]. Reportedly among the detainees are Melinda Taylor, an Australian lawyer working for the ICC. A representative for the Libyan courts said that Taylor attempted to give documents to Saif al-Islam that were from his former aid, Mohammed Ismail, who has been in hiding since the Libyan conflict [JURIST news archive] began. ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, called for their immediate release, claiming they have immunity when traveling for ICC business. The ICC is currently in communication with Libyan authorities.

Earlier this month, a pre-trial chamber of the ICC granted a request by the Libyan government to postpone an order to transfer [JURIST report] Saif al-Islam to ICC custody. The issue of which court is going to try Saif al-Islam has been in dispute since he was captured [JURIST report] by Libyan rebel forces in November. In April ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] stated that the maximum penalty for Saif al-Islam in the ICC would be life in prison, but if convicted in a national court he could face the death penalty [JURIST report]. Earlier that month Ocampo asked the ICC to report Libya to the UN Security Council for failing to turn over Saif al-Islam. Libya expressly denied [JURIST report] the ICC’s request for such action and stated that Saif al-Islam will face trial within the country. In February 2011, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to refer the matter in Libya to the ICC prosecutor [JURIST report]. The ICC claimed jurisdiction over Saif al-Islam despite its announcement in November that it may allow Libya to conduct the trial [JURIST report].