[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] [press release] on Thursday rejected [decision, PDF; press release] Libya’s request to suspend the order to hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late Muammar Gaddafi. It also ruled that its forum is more appropriate than the Libyan forum because of the accused’s stated preference, genuine fear of bias, and the scope of crimes alleged by each prosecutor. The scope of the ICC’s allegations is broader than those stated in the Libyan charges, and allows for a wider spectrum of evidence. The ICC ruled that the Libyan government failed to show how his appearance in the ICC would create an irreversible situation or one that one would be difficult to reverse, as is required for the court to order such relief in a request to suspend appearance.
This power struggle for custody and jurisdiction of Gaddafi’s son has continued for several months [JURIST news archive]. Saif-Al Islam made his second appearance in a Libyan court [JURIST report] in early May, but the trial was postponed at that time to allow for more preparation. He first appeared in Libyan court [JURIST report] in Zintan in January. The Libyan government accused Saif-Al Islam in January [JURIST report] of crimes against the state for transferring information related to Libya’s national security to an ICC delegation, insulting Libya’s new flag and attempting to escape from prison. The ICC issued a warrant for his arrest in June of 2011 for crimes against humanity including murder and persecution