Sanctions call over trial of Saif al-Islam

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A SON of former Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi appeared in court yesterday for the first time since his capture a year ago, Libya prosecutors said.

Saif al-Islam, 40, who once attended London School of Economics, arrived in court in the western Libyan town of Zintan, where he is being held by former rebels, to face charges related to a visit to Libya by an International Criminal Court lawyer last year.

“He is charged with involvement with the ICC delegation which is accused of carrying papers and other things related to the security of the Libyan state,” a prosecution spokesman said.

The ICC lawyer, Australian Melinda Taylor, was herself arrested and held for three weeks after the meeting and has since said her detention proved al-Islam could not receive a fair trial for alleged war crimes and instead should be tried in The Hague.

Another ICC defence lawyer said the hearing in Zintan – where the Tripoli authorities have little sway – was designed to intimidate the international court. “This is yet another disgraceful attempt by Libya to intimidate the ICC,” said Ben Emmerson, lawyer for Abdullah al-Senussi, Gaddafi’s former spy chief and al-Islam’s co-accused.

He said Libya should face UN sanctions for failing to co-operate with the ICC.