The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) issued a statement yesterday calling for the “immediate arrest and surrender” of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi – the son of former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi who was toppled in 2011 – following allegations he was released from the custody of the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Brigade in Zintan, western Libya.
“My office is aware of the latest media reports alleging that on 9 June 2017 Mr Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi (“Mr Gaddafi”) was released from the custody of the Abu-Bakr Al-Siddiq Brigade of Zintan, Libya,” ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in the statement that was published on the court’s official website.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Gaddafi on 27 June 2011 over “crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution, allegedly committed in Libya in 2011,” according to the prosecutor’s statement.
Saif Al-Islam was sentenced to death in 2015 by a court in Tripoli for the killing of protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring. He was caught in late 2011 and held in a court in Zintan until his recent release.
The statement goes on to say that the warrant “remains valid and Libya is obliged to immediately arrest and surrender Mr. Gaddafi to the ICC, regardless of any purported amnesty law in Libya”.
Gaddafi’s lawyer said on Sunday that the former president’s son was released from prison based on an amnesty law passed by the parliament in eastern Libya in the city of Tobruk, adding that Gaddafi will not turn himself in to the ICC.
“Helping a fugitive to escape justice must not be tolerated, and Mr. Gaddafi must be surrendered to the custody of the Court,” said the prosecutor, adding:
I call on Libya and all other States, if in a position to do so, to immediately arrest and surrender Mr. Gaddafi to the ICC.