The Hague, July 6, 2012 (FH) – During a press conference held in The Hague on Friday, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s defence lawyer Melinda Taylor declared that “after what happened, I have serious concerns over my client’s security”. She added that “recent events have completely underscored that it will be impossible for Mr. Gaddafi to be tried in an independent and impartial manner in Libyan courts”.

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Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, designated by the ICC to represent Gaddafi, was arrested by Libyan authorities on June 7 along with her interpreter Hélène Assaf. She was accused of trying to pass on sensitive documents to Gaddafi, who is accused of crimes against humanity by the ICC..Two other ICC employees, Estaban Peralta and Alexander Kodakhov, sent to request Gaddafi to designate a lawyer of his own choice, were also detained.

The four were finally released on July 2.

On the first day of their detention, Taylor explained, “I explicitly informed the Libyan authorities that, if they had any concerns regarding my conduct, they had the right to file a complaint in accordance with the procedure set out in the ICC code of conduct for counsel but that I had full immunity from arrest, detention or any other investigative action taken against me and measure taken by the Libyans in that regard would be in violation of international law”.

Regarding the allegation that she had try to deliver sensitive documents to Saif al-Islam, she claimed: “I believe that my actions were consistent with my legal obligations under the ICC Statute and Rules and Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel”.

She deplored that her client’s rights were not respected. “The Libyan authorities deliberately misled the Defence concerning whether the visit with Mr. Gaddafi would be monitored, and seized documents which were covered by legal professional privilege and ICC protective orders”, she explained.

However, she affirmed that Zenten brigade’s commander and his soldiers “treated us with respect and dignity, and were very attentive to our requirements”.