Saif al-Islam, son of slain Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, will be moved next week to Tripoli and has agreed to take a lawyer, Libya’s representative to the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Saturday.
“Saif al-Islam will be transferred from his prison in Zintan to an official prison in the capital, Tripoli, before the end of the [coming] week,” Ahmed Jehani said, declining to give an exact date for security reasons. “The revolutionaries of Zintan have agreed to hand him over to the authorities, so he will be transferred and tried according to Libyan law.”
He said Saif al-Islam “had refused to hire a lawyer in the beginning, but in the past two days has accepted to take a defense lawyer,” who could be either Libyan or foreign.
Saif al-Islam, who was arrested on Nov. 19 in southern Libya, is being held in a secret detention center in Zintan, 180km south of Tripoli, where he has allegedly been mistreated by his wardens.
The ICC wants to bring Saif al-Islam to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity for his role in battling the uprising against his father last year, but Libya wants to try him at home.
“No amount of pressure will push Libya to hand him over,” Jehani said.
Salwa Dugheili, chairman of Libya’s judicial committee, shared that view.
“We’ve said it over and over again: It is the right of Libyans and their judges to carry out this trial,” she said, adding that it was unlikely her country would yield on the issue.
Saif al-Islam, she said, is not the only figure of the previous regime being held by “revolutionaries.”