Libyan authorities today released the four International Criminal Court (ICC) staff members who were detained in the country for nearly a month following their visit to Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi, who has been indicted by the court in relation to attacks against protesters and rebels during last year's pro-democracy uprising.
"The ICC is grateful to the Libyan authorities for their agreement today to release the Court's staff members so that they can be reunited with their families," the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, said at a press conference in the Libyan city of Zintan.
He also thanked the Zintan authorities for their cooperation and expressed his relief that the ICC staff members were well treated during their detention.
The four - Alexander Khodakov, Esteban Peralta Losilla, Melinda Taylor and Helene Assaf - were detained on 7 June after meeting with Mr. Qadhafi in Zintan, in part as a privileged visit by the ICC's Office of Public Counsel for the Defence, currently appointed to represent Mr. Qadhafi in the case brought against him.
The ICC is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.
Libya is one of seven situations currently under investigation by the ICC, which is based in The Hague. The others are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, the Central African Republic, Kenya, and Côte d'Ivoire.