The Hague, October 28, 2011 (FH) - The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced on Friday in a written statement that he had " informal contacts with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi", the son of Libya's slain dictator.

0 min 57Approximate reading time

"Through intermediaries, we have informal contact with Saif.  The Office of the Prosecutor has made it clear that, if he surrenders to the ICC, he has the right to be heard in court, he is innocent until proven guilty", reads the text.   

Arrest warrants were issued on June 27 by the ICC against Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif and military intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity committed in Libya after February 15, 2011.

Luis Moreno Ocampo added he had gathered through "informal channels" that "a group of mercenaries (...) were offering to move Saif to an African country not party to the Rome Statute of the ICC".   

Unconfirmed press reports allege Zimbabwe could be that final destination as President Mugabe was a long time ally of Muammar Gaddafi.

The Office of the Prosecutor said it was exploring "the possibility to intercept any plane within the airspace of a state party in order to make an arrest".

In an interview with Reuters, Luis Moreno Ocampo denied that a deal was being arranged with Saif al-Islam. According to him, his contacts only aimed at Saif's surrender.

Saif al-Islam, 39, has been on the run since his father's death, on October 20.


© Hirondelle News Agency