[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Wednesday that the case against Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC backgrounder] may proceed in the ICC and that Libyan authorities must immediately surrender Saif al-Islam to The Hague. Saif al-Islam is being tried on multiple crimes against humanity associated with the 2011 revolt in his home country. A majority of the ICC Appeals Chamber, with one dissenting opinion, rejected all four grounds of appeal brought by the Libyan government, concluding that it had not been effectively demonstrated that the domestic investigation in Libya would cover the same case that would be presented before the ICC. Judge Erkki Kourula stated [press release] that “the Appeals Chamber did not err in either fact or law when it concluded that Libya had fallen short of substantiating, by means of evidence of a sufficient degree of specificity and probative value, that Libya’s investigation covers the same case that is before the Court.” The Libyan government also presented arguments that the Pre-Trial Chamber had committed procedural errors when reaching its decision, to which the Appeals Chamber confirmed the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision. The judgment affirmed the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I decision [judgment, PDF] in May 2013 to allow Saif al-Islam to be tried in the ICC, which Libya subsequently appealed in June.
Saif al-Islam has faced a long list of legal issues ever since the 2011 revolt. In October about 30 aides to Muammar Gaddafi, including Saif al-Islam, were indicted [JURIST report] by a Libyan court for a list of offenses allegedly committed during the 2011 revolt [JURIST backgrounder], including murder murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity. Last May the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision to allow the court to hear the case involving Saif al-Islam was coupled with the case against former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, which the court decided was inadmissible before the ICC [press release]. In August Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi were charged [JURIST report] in Libya with murder relating to the 2011 revolt. 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