Gaddafi’s son to stand trial in September

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Saif al-Islam, the second son of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, will go on trial in September in the Libyan town of Zintan, despite repeated calls from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try him at The Hague.

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A committee from the prosecutor general’s office has completed its investigation into the crimes committed by Saif al-Islam from the start of the revolution Feb 15, 2011, and has prepared a charge sheet, Al Arabiya quoted prosecution spokesman Taha Nasser Baara as saying.

The 40-year-old Saif was captured last year by a militia from the western mountain town of Zintan, where he has been held ever since.

The ICC, which is authorised to try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes worldwide, has expressed concern that Libya is not set up to give Gaddafi’s son a fair trial.

The country’s interim rulers are having trouble uniting the country, caught in a power struggle between numerous militia and tribes.

Libyan authorities, however, insist that they have “solid proof in the form of sound recordings, images, documents and testimony”, which was “sufficient to condemn and judge” Saif in Libya.

Saif and his lawyers have asked for a trial in The Hague as they are afraid that he could face death sentence if tried in Libya.

He was considered the most likely successor to Gaddafi and actively supported his father’s attempts to quash the rebellion last year.

Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown in October 2011 by opposition forces with NATO assistance after a seven-month civil war. Gaddafi, who ruled the country for 42 years, was captured and killed by rebels near his home town of Sirte Oct 20, 2011.