[JURIST] A lawyer for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] who was recently released from detention in Libya stated Friday that she did not believe Libya could hold a fair trial for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Melinda Taylor was detained by Libyan authorities for nearly four weeks for allegedly passing illicit information to Saif al-Islam in a Libyan prison. She maintains that her detention in the country was unjustified. Taylor and three other ICC staff members were detained by Libyan authorities while on an official mission to meet with Saif al-Islam and assist with his legal defense. The ICC has expressed concern about Libya’s ability to give Saif al-Islam a fair trial since he was captured [JURIST report] by Libyan rebel forces in November. Taylor said the actions of Libyan authorities have demonstrated that they are incapable of holding a fair and impartial trial [BBC report].
Last 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 Libyan government formally challenged [JURIST reports] the right of the ICC to try Saif al-Islam in May, arguing that, under the Rome Statute [text], the ICC only has jurisdiction over a case being investigated by a State government unless “the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution.” In April former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the ICC to report Libya to the UN Security Council [JURIST report] 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.