[JURIST] About thirty aides to Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST backgrounder], including his son Seif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], were indicted Thursday by a Libyan court for a list of offenses allegedly committed during the 2011 revolt [JURIST backgrounder] in the country. The charges levied against them include murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity. Although less than half of the defendants appeared in court for the indictment hearing on Thursday, all defendants must be present at the trial hearing, the date of which has not yet been set [AFP report]. The trial will be one of the most high-profile in the country’s history, with defendants including senior officials such as former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and Gaddafi’s last prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi.
Al-Islam Gaddafi and al-Senussi have also faced charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Earlier this month the ICC ruled [decision, PDF] that the case against al-Senussi is inadmissible before the ICC [press release] and can only be heard by domestic courts in Libya, but noted that the decision did not affect the issue with regards to the charges against al-Islam Gaddafi. The ICC’s decision marked the most recent development in a legal battle between Libya and the ICC [JURIST op-ed] regarding al-Senussi and al-Islam Gaddafi. The two men were also charged with murder [JURIST report] by Lybian prosecutors in August. A month earlier, the ICC rejected [JURIST report] the country’s request to suspend an order to hand over al-Islam Gaddafi to face the international charges. In June al-Islam Gaddafi’s lawyer accused Libyan officials [JURIST report] of defying the ICC by announcing that his domestic trial would begin in August despite the ICC’s attempts to have him extradited. The order demanding Libya to extradite al-Senussi [JURIST report] to face charges of crimes against humanity was made by the ICC in February.