ICC: Gaddafi's son will face justice

Updated: 2011-11-10 08:32


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THE HAGUE - The arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi will be a matter of time, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"Muammar Gadhafi died, but Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi (son of Gadhafi) and Abdullah al-Senussi (former Intelligence Chief) are still indicted," Moreno-Ocampo said, adding that "we are preparing their trials and we are trying to get them arrested."

Meanwhile, the ICC has continued investigations into not only reported atrocities by mercenaries and forces under the Gadhafi regime, but also allegations of crimes committed by NATO forces and NTC-led forces.

"We are conducting new investigations on rapes and we will await the end of these investigations," the ICC prosecutor told Xinhua.

"We are connected with the new Libyan government which is preparing a strategy to deal with all these crimes. My duty is not to intervene. So we are waiting what they will do. We are planning to go to Libya in January to discuss their plans," he said.

Though the whereabouts of Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi and Abdullah al-Senussi remained unknown, the ICC did receive questions from Saif Al-Islam through intermediates regarding his legal rights if he was to come to The Hague, confirmed Moreno-Ocampo.

Moreover, the prosecutor, whose term would end next year, held that the suspects will eventually be arrested, citing Yugoslavia Tribunal as a good precedent.

"It will happen," Moreno-Ocampo said, "the Yugoslavia Tribunal indicted 161 persons. How many are still at large? Zero. It's a matter of time. I hope they are arrested before I leave and when I left, it's OK too. The next prosecutor will do the cases."

Moreno-Ocampo reiterated the position that it's only a matter of time when asked whether Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi will escape to a country that has not signed up to the ICC's Rome statute and therefore has no obligation to hand him over to The Hague.

"Their destiny is to face justice. It's not a matter if he will be arrested, but when," the chief prosecutor said.

Moreno-Ocampo was speaking at a seminar on international justice, peace and crisis management held Wednesday at the Peace Palace in The Hague. The event was organized by the Swedish embassy to pay tribute to Dag Hammarskjold, a former UN secretary general, who died fifty years ago in a plane crash.

Attendants of the seminar include Blaise Compaore, president of Burkina Faso, an African country that was reported to have offered asylum to former Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, who died on October 20.

This report was denied by Djibril Yipene Bassole, minister of foreign affairs of Burkina Faso, during a press conference after the seminar.

"No, we did not offer asylum to Gadhafi," he said. "And if he had asked asylum in Burkina Faso, we would have proceeded exactly as the president indicated, knowing that we are a member of the ICC and that we have recognized the national transition council at that time."

"We are part of the ICC with all resulting obligations," Bassole added. "If a perpetrator of crimes is indicted as part of ICC, we can't protect this person. We fully obey to the obligations derived from our membership of the ICC."