[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] is collecting evidence for possible new war crimes charges against Muammar Gaddafi [JURIST news archive] supporters and opposition groups arising out of crimes committed during last year’s civil war [JURIST backgrounder]. According to an exclusive Associated Press interview [AP report], the ICC is specifically investigating crimes committed by rebel forces against Gaddafi loyalists and residents of Tawerga as well as further evidence against members of the former Gaddafi government. Tawerga was used to launch attacks on Libya’s commercial capital, Misrata. The ICC is looking into allegations that rebel forces subjected civilians in Tawerga to killings, looting, torture and forced displacement. Bensouda also discussed Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [JURIST news archive] who is currently being held by a militia group until he will stand trial. She urged the group to allow Saif al-Islam access to a lawyer and, while she encouraged the group to allow the ICC to prosecute him, should Libya proceed with the national trial the ICC “will continue to monitor what Libya is doing.”
The ICC, along with the international community as a whole, is closely monitoring the developments in the Libyan trial process. Earlier this week, Bensouda urged Libya not to grant amnesty [JURIST report] for war criminals on either side of the fighting. In October, Amnesty International [advocacy website] called upon [JURIST report] Libya to hand over former military intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi to the ICC. Earlier that month Libyan officials, in a hearing before the ICC, promised a fair trial for Gaddafi’s son [JURIST report], Saif al-Islam, and urged the court to allow a national trial. In June four ICC staff members who traveled to Libya to speak with Saif al-Islam were detained [JURIST report] by Libyan security forces. They were in custody for nearly four weeks. Upon her release [JURIST report], ICC lawyer Melinda Taylor said she did not believe Saif al-Islam would receive a fair trial in the country.