ICC Press Statement On The Detention Of Four Staff Members In Zintan, Libya (June 15, 2012)
It is critical that the recent media circus surrounding the detention of ICC staff not detract in any way from the immediacy of the plight of Saif Gaddafi. If anything, these events reveal how vulnerable Saif is and how much he and all of Libya’s political prisoners need our support. Please join in demanding Saif’s immediate and unconditional release.
Press Release: 15.06.2012
On Tuesday, 12 June 2012, an ICC delegation, together with the Ambassadors of Australia, Lebanon, Russia and Spain, had a brief meeting in Zintan, Libya, with the four ICC staff members detained since 7 June. The visit to Zintan was facilitated by the cooperation of the local authorities and the Public Prosecutor. During the meeting, which took place in the presence of the local authorities’ representatives, the ICC staff members indicated that they were in good health and well treated.
The ICC staff members were detained while on a visit to Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. The visit, authorised by the ICC’s judges, had the purpose of preserving the rights of the defence in the case against him before the ICC. The rights of an ICC suspect include the right to appoint a counsel of his choice, to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate freely and in confidence with his lawyer. Such communication may include discussing and exchanging documents and discussing potential witnesses and defence positions in the case.
In the absence of a lawyer appointed by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi himself, the ICC judges appointed two counsel from the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence to represent the suspect in this case. Like the Office of the Prosecutor, the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence is an independent office within the overall structure of the ICC, to ensure the fairness of the proceedings.
The ICC welcomes the assistance provided by the Libyan authorities to date. The Court is very keen to address any regrettable misunderstandings on either side about the delegation’s mandate and activities during its mission in Libya.
The ICC expresses its strong hope that the release of the four detained persons will take place with no delay, in the spirit of the cooperation that has existed between the Court and the Libyan authorities.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.