International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday reported to the statement to the UN Security Council (UNSC) [official websites] on the efforts to arrest Libyan special forces commander Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli. The warrant for his arrest was issued in August 2015 following the release of video evidence of Al-Werfalli performing seven different executions, resulting in 33 deaths of civilians and former military member. Although Bensouda had previously expressed concerns about receiving full cooperation and support from Libya, she now reports that the Libyan National Army is participating in investigations. She expressed concern over Al-Werfalli’s continued public profile, saying
My Office has also received reports indicating that Mr al-Werfalli is at large, remains a commander with the Al-Saiqa Brigade, and may have been involved in further killings. I am investigating these reports.
Given the initiation of the Libya investigation at the ICC by referral from the UNSC, Bensouda noted that Libya is obligated by law to turn over Al-Werfalli and have him stand trial in the ICC.
She expresses grave concern for the situation in Libya, asking for help from “all States Parties, non-States Parties and organizations.” Issues of the same nature have been occurring since the 2011 deposition of Muammar Gaddafi. Bensouda notes that Libya is still violently unstable as conflicts continue between various parties, along with reports of unlawful killings, kidnappings, torture, prolonged detentions without trial or other legal process, and arbitrary detention, torture, rape and other ill-treatment of migrants in official and unofficial detention centers. Bensouda reasserted the ICC’s position that any and all war crimes or crimes against humanity in Libya can be prosecuted even though Libya is not a State Party.