Libya to try Seif al-Islam al-Kadhafi
By Essam Mohamed in Tripoli and Monia Ghanmi in Tunis for Magharebia – 21/11/11
Seif al-Islam al-Kadhafi will be tried in Libya rather than handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC), officials from Libya's National Transitional Council announced Sunday (November 20th).
"The decision is that he will be tried by Libyan courts. It is a question of national sovereignty," NTC Vice Chairman and official spokesman Abdelhafed Ghoga said.
Human rights organisations and world powers have urged Libya to co-operate with the ICC and treat al-Kadhafi humanely.
"I reassure our people and the world that Seif, and those with him, will be given a fair trial in which international rights and norms will be guaranteed," Interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim El Keib said on Saturday during a visit to Zintan, where Seif al-Islam is being held.
Seif al-Islam was captured on Friday in south-western Libya by revolutionaries from Zintan. His father's former intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, was arrested on Sunday outside Sebha. The ICC issued international arrest warrants June 27th for al-Kadhafi and Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.
Justice Minister Mohamed Alagui said authorities want to try Seif al-Islam in Libya rather than transfer him to The Hague "because the Libyan judiciary has principal jurisdiction and international judiciary is the exception".
A strong consensus emerged among Libyans supporting the NTC decision to try Seif al-Islam in Libya. "We don't love revenge, but we just want to try him in Libya so that the world may know that we want to promote human rights and justice among the Libyan people," said Achref Ben Achour.
"I won't forget his contempt for the honour of Libyan women and his saying that they sell their honour cheaply," said Ms Mahasen. "I thank the revolutionaries of Bergin and Zintan who arrested him and made us celebrate the end of a tyrant who was dreaming about succeeding his father in ruling Libya. I thank God that this family started to disappear one after the other because of what they have done to Libyans."
Meanwhile, Ali al-Mahrush said the arrest "will put an end to any ambitions or hopes for his supporters to undermine security and stability". He added that the country would never go back, adding that the cost in blood was high.
Dr Jamila Ali said she felt indescribable happiness at the news. "I think that the image of arrest was very wonderful. He received good treatment from the revolutionaries, and thank God, we saw the good morals of revolutionaries and their humanitarian treatment of him in spite of the cruelty and inhumane treatment that they had received from him," she said.
"He's a Libyan criminal and has committed crimes in Libya. Therefore, he must be tried in Libya at the hands of those whom he had killed, looted and wronged," commented Mohamed Sallem.
Blogger Zouhaeir Boujalled stressed the need for the NTC to use Kadhafi's son to uncover hidden assets abroad and return them to the Libyan people, adding that "he may also know secrets about the countries that were involved with the Kadhafi's regime, and other secrets about his father's relations and diplomatic dealings".
"After Kadhafi's page was turned over once and for all, I hope that Libya and the Libyan people will see light as soon as possible," Lobna Idriss said.
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