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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/28/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Saif al-Islam prefers the justice of the ICC to that of his own people.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of recently killed Moammar Gadhafi, is trying to escape Libya alive. According to reports, he is trying to find an aircraft that will fly him out of the desert to the Hague, Netherlands war crimes court.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is fleeing for his life.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is fleeing for his life.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/28/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Saif Al-Isam, Qaddafi, the Hague, ICC, international criminal court, war crimes, national transitional council, NTC


TRIPOLI, LIBYA (Catholic Online) - While officials are uncertain of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi's whereabouts, they speculate that he has found refuge among Sahara nomads and is trying to escape the country--with his life.

At least one senior official in the National Transitional Council (NTC) has said that Saif al-Islam has already crossed the border into Niger but has not yet found a way to get himself to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

Certainly, his fear must be substantial if he prefers a war crimes trial to the justice of his own people.

A Libyan official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claimed to be aware of his plans and added that Saif al-Islam is still waiting for assistance. He also said that Saif al-Islam is being aided in his effort to reach the Hague by contacts in Mali and South Africa.

While Saif al-Islam is in the desert, he is rumored to be protected by nomads and it is well understood that the NTC does not have the resources to hunt him down. Most of his surviving family has already fled to sympathetic African states, but the 39-year-old former heir apparent, may be more willing to face justice before the ICC than risk future deportation back to Libya where he could potentially be put to death, a risk he runs if he merely flees to a country that is sympathetic--for sympathies can change. 

When the vice chairman of the NTC was recently questioned by reporters about what they were doing to cooperate with the ICC he explained that Libya plans to try the Gadhafi family and other suspects from the regime, on its own. In reference to wanted Gaddafi regime officials, the Vice Chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said, "there aren't any special arrangements by the NTC," if they "are arrested inside Libya they will be tried and judged based on Libyan law. If they fled and went to countries such as Niger, for example, they will have to be surrendered to the ICC."

As the NTC has declared itself the political and military victors of the fight to oust Gadhafi's regime, it remains to be seen if they will be the moral victors of that fight and respect the human rights of those that surrender to them. However, recent discoveries of murdered pro-Gaddafi loyalists and others, suggests the likelihood of that happening is very slim.


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