The Hague, May 7, 2012 (FH) – Defence lawyers of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi requested on May 3 the Appeals Chamber to disqualify ICC’S Prosecutor from the case due to his “ lack of impartiality” and  “allegiance to the Libyan government”.

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is wanted by the ICC to face charges of crimes against humanity committed after February 2011

In their written request, Xavier-Jean Keita and Melinda Taylor suggest that « this lack of impartiality is manifested by a repeated failure to respect the presumption of innocence and rights of the defendant », giving the impression that Luis Moreno Ocampo “is affiliated with both political cause and legal positions of the National Transition Council government”.

Since Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was arrested in Zintan on November 19, 2011, Luis Moreno Ocampo almost openly backed Tripoli statements.

According to Defence lawyers, “The Prosecutor has consistently conducted joint press conferences with Libyan authorities, during which the Libyan authorities have clearly announced their intention to try Mr. Gaddafi in Libya and not to surrender him to The Hague. However, at no point since the arrest of Mr. Gaddafi on 19 November 2011, has the Prosecutor referred to the outstanding obligation of the Libyan authorities to bring Mr. Gaddafi before a judge or to surrender him to the ICC”.

ICC Judges have ordered the Prosecutor to submit an answer before May 10.

Luis Moreno Ocampo is expected to deliver a progress report on his investigation in Libya before the Security Council on May 16. Gaddafi defence lawyers note that “the Presidency, Registry and Defence do not have any direct audience before the Security Council. As such, the defendant is completely dependent on the Prosecutor to raise issues concerning the implementation of the Chamber’s decision that Mr. Gaddafi be immediately brought before a judge and surrendered to the ICC”