The following pertinent reports were removed from the ICC website:
OPCD Report On Saif Al Islam Gaddafi’s Situation In Libya
The latest action is in this document:
Request to Disqualify the Prosecutor from Participating in the Case Against Mr. Saif Al Islam Gaddafi
Some information on Xavier-Jean Keita:
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi And The “Behind The Scenes” Fight Over His Fate
Saif has not been permitted access to legal counsel of his choice. He remains isolated, without the ability to speak with family or friends who would assist him. This is a violation of his basic human rights and international law.
Xavier-Jean Keita, principal counsel for the Hague’s defence office, has previously called for ICC judges to make a formal complaint to the UN Security Council over Tripoli’s refusal to hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
“It is clear that the ICC will not be in a position to render its decision on the admissibility of the case until after Mr Gaddafi has been tried, and potentially sentenced and executed,” wrote Keita. “The postponement of Mr Gaddafi’s surrender could therefore be at the cost of his life.”
Keita also registered his annoyance after being told by a Libyan prosecutor that Gaddafi was to be tried not for war crimes, but for “alleged failure to have licenses for two camels, and cleaning of fish farms”.
This week the court registrar issued her own report, also sharply critical of the Libyan authorities.
It was posted on the ICC website by judges, only for them to change their minds two hours later and order it withdrawn, pending redactions.
It began when she arrived in Tripoli, only to be told the militia holding the suspect would not grant access until they had been paid their “salaries.”
Tripoli’s officials offered to pay her air fare for the wasted trip, but after she reminded them that failure to meet the suspect could lead to a complaint to the UN, she said the way was cleared.
The meeting itself took place in the windowless cell in which Gaddafi is being held, in the mountain town of Zintan, 90 miles south of Tripoli.
The registrar was told a Libyan prosecution official had to be present for her meeting, so she said she resorted to having her translator not interpret all of Gaddafi’s comments in the hope he would speak more freely. When the official excused himself for five minutes, she said, Gaddafi grew agitated.
Missing fingers and teeth
“The registry representative quickly asked the suspect how he was and whether he was mistreated,” she wrote. “His attitude changed from relaxed to intense and without saying a word he waved the hand where two fingers were missing and pointed to a missing tooth in the upper front of his detention.”
Both reports follow a ruling by ICC judges last week that Libya would have no more appeals against its order to hand Gaddafi over to Hague custody.
With no sign of Libya complying, Keita made his call for the UN to get involved. “Libyan authorities have also been cautioned of the consequences of non-co-operation, but have taken no steps to commence the implementation of Mr Gaddafi’s surrender.”
Libya’s own position appears firm. In February the country’s president Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who was Muammar Gaddafi’s former justice minister, said Gaddafi’s trial would be held on home soil by April 13.
Last weekend justice minister Ali Khalifa Ashur confirmed that a Tripoli trial will be held for Gaddafi, and that it must finish before the June 23 elections–irrespective of any appeal to the ICC for the right to hold such a trial.
But doubts remain about whether Libya is able to hold a fair trial.
Its law on transitional justice has yet to be fully gazetted, meaning the state is, technically, lawless.
Gaddafi also has yet to be told the charges he faces, or the court that will try him–whether civil or military. This will give him little time to instruct a lawyer, find and prepare witnesses and organise a defence for a trial that Libya says must be finished–including any appeals and sentencing– inside two-and-a-half months.
Legally, ICC officials say they are on firm ground because the UN Security Council mandated the Libya investigation and the statute says the ICC makes the choice about where a suspect is tried.
But if judges do complain to the UN Security Council, it will mean the issue becomes political rather than judicial, with very uncertain results.