The Libyan government had asked the Court on April 2, 2013, to let it take the Senussi case, arguing that it should be allowed to do so under the so-called “complementarity” principle.
ICC judges decided that “the case against Mr Al-Senussi is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation,” says an ICC press release. “Therefore, the Judges concluded that the case is inadmissible before the Court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC.”
This decision differs sharply from the Court’s decision on May 31 in the case of Saïf Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In that decision, the ICC deemed that the evidence submitted by Tripoli was “not sufficient to consider that the domestic and the ICC investigations cover the same case”, and concluded that Libya was “unable genuinely to carry out the proceedings against Mr Gaddafi”. Libya has appealed this decision.
Al-Senoussi is in the hands of the Libyan authorities, while Gaddafi is held by former rebels in the south of the country who refuse to hand him over to the government.
The situation in Libya was referred to the ICC by the United Nations Security Council in February 2011.