Tripoli: Libya's transitional leaders have vowed to work with the International Criminal Court and with the United Nations in investigating alleged crimes committed by Muammar Gaddafi's recently captured son and one-time heir apparent, the court's prosecutor said on Thursday. (Agencies)
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that the court received the formal pledge in a letter from National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil.
Moreno-Ocampo said he was satisfied with that move, which appears to settle a dispute between the international court and Libyan authorities over which body should try Seif al-Islam Gaddafi with crimes against humanity.
Libya is obliged by a UN Security Council resolution to work with the ICC, but that does not necessarily preclude a trial in Libya. If the court determines that the country has a functioning legal system that will give Seif al-Islam a fair trial on substantially the same charges as were filed before it, it can leave the case with Libya.
Moreno-Ocampo said the most important thing is for Seif al-Islam, whom he called the "face of the old regime," to face justice.
It "is very important for the world and for Libya to understand what happened here, how they attacked these people, how they killed these people," Moreno-Ocampo said.
The ICC has charged both Seif al-Islam and the Gaddafi-era intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi with crimes against humanity for unleashing the brutal crackdown on an uprising that began in February and spiraled into a civil war.
Moreno-Ocampo said he understood that it's "a matter of national pride" for Libya's leaders to try Gaddafi's son themselves because they want to prove to the world that they are capable of holding a fair trial.
He said investigations are under way into the alleged crimes committed by Gaddafi's son and that he believed it would be ready for trial "in a few months."
In his letter to the court, Libya's Abdul-Jalil pledged to "fully cooperate" with the ICC and the UN Security Council.
But he asserts that the Libyan judiciary has "primary responsibility" to try Seif al-Islam, the only Gaddafi family member in Libyan custody.
The letter is addressed to a presiding judge at the court in The Hague, Sanji Mmasenono Monageng.
Seif al-Islam is being held by fighters from the Libyan town of Zintan, who flew him there after his capture in southern Libya on Saturday. The International Committee of the Red Cross visited Seif al-Islam there on Tuesday and said he appeared to be in good health.
Tripoli: Libya's transitional leaders have vowed to work with the International Criminal Court and with the United Nations in investigating alleged crimes committed by Muammar Gaddafi's recently captured son and one-time heir apparent, the court's prosecutor said on Thursday.