Arusha, May 22, 2014 (FH) – The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday confirmed that Saif Al-Islam, son of the late Muammar Gaddafi, must be tried in The Hague and not in Libya.

1 min 2Approximate reading time

Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, 41, is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity committed during bloody repression of the 2011 uprising in his country.

But Tripoli had argued its right to try him in its own courts, saying Libyan judicial authorities were also investigating the case.

In May 2013, an ICC pre-trial chamber had rejected Libya’s challenge to the admissibility of the case, and ordered that Saif Al-Islam be immediately handed over to the ICC. Libya appealed the decision on June 17, 2013.

However, the Appeals Chamber has now rejected this appeal, and confirmed the decision of the pre-trial chamber that the case is admissible before the ICC. The appeals judges said the pretrial chamber had not erred when it found that Libya had failed to bring sufficient evidence that it was investigating the same case.

The decision was by a majority of the five appeals judges. Judge Sang-Hyun Song issued a separate opinion, saying that in his view Libya was investigating the same case. He nevertheless concluded that the case was admissible before the ICC because Libya had not been able to obtain custody of Saif Al-Islam for the purposes of trial.

Saif Al-Islam is currently held in Zintan, southern Libya, by ex-rebels who are refusing to transfer him to the capital.

Judge Anita Ušacka appended a dissenting opinion, saying that in her view, the pre-trial chamber's test for determining whether Libya was investigating the case was “erroneous and too demanding in its application”.