[JURIST] The son of Libya’s deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] made a second court appearance in Zintan, Libya, Thursday, but the court postponed further proceedings until mid-September in order to allow for adequate trial preparation. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is accused of crimes against the state for transferring information related to Libya’s national security to an International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] delegation, insulting Libya’s new flag and attempting to escape from prison. In addition, the ICC indicted Saif al-Islam for crimes against humanity alongside former Gaddafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile] for murder and persecution during the Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder] under Gaddafi’s regime. The ICC previously determined that the Libyan court fulfilled requirements necessary for the proceedings after the militiamen who captured him insisted that he be tried in Zintan, where he has been held since 2011. Saif al-Islam reportedly accepted [AP report] Mohammed Abu-Bakr and Mabroukah Jomaah Ghenewah as his defense counsel, who in turn moved to postpone the trial to ensure trial preparedness.
Saif al-Islam first appeared in court [JURIST report] in Zintan in January. His appearance came after the ICC demanded that Libyan officials address reports that they planned to try Saif al-Islam and al-Senussi. Libya has continued to refuse to hand the two men over to the ICC after announcing plans to try them [JURIST reports] in Libya. In October Libyan government lawyers urged [JURIST report] the ICC to allow them to be tried in Libya and promised that the trial would be fair. In August Saif al-Islam stated that he preferred to be tried by the ICC [JURIST report] out of fear that Libya would not try him fairly. In June four ICC staff members who traveled to Libya to speak with Saif al-Islam, including Melinda Taylor, were detained [JURIST report] by Libyan security forces and were in custody for nearly four weeks before being released.