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Court mulls where Gadhafi's son should be tried

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 11:03 am •  Published: October 9, 2012
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It would "be a unique opportunity for national reconciliation for a community that wishes to have justice done at home in Libya," he said.

Al-Jehani said that a "rush to judgment" by the ICC would "render the principle of complementarity meaningless."

But one of Seif al-Islam's court-appointed defense lawyers, Melinda Taylor, said the court should not trust Libya and its fledgling justice system to mount a fair prosecution of the son and one-time heir apparent of the country's widely reviled former leader.

Taylor was jailed in Libya for more than three weeks earlier this year, after being accused by Libyan authorities of passing confidential documents to her client.

She said she wound up in jail after trusting Libyan assurances her visit was privileged, meaning she would not be arrested.

Taylor warned that if the court also trusts Libyan guarantees and sends the case to Tripoli, Seif al-Islam "stands to lose his life in a completely arbitrary manner that has nothing to do with justice."

Seif was originally charged alongside his father and the Gadhafi regime's former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi in June 2011 with attacking civilian protesters in the early days of the popular uprising against Gadhafi's rule. The United Nations Security Council had asked the court to launch an investigation amid widespread reports of human rights abuses by the Gadhafi regime as it fought to cling to power.

Judges dropped the case against Moammar Gadhafi in November 2011 after he was captured and killed by rebel fighters. Al-Senoussi fled the country, but was later captured in Mauritania and extradited to Libya.

A decision on where Seif al-Islam will be tried is expected to take weeks or months.