7 November 2012

Libya: Prosecutor Calls for Better Cooperation on Libya

The Hague — The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has called for better cooperation by states and international organizations with regard to crimes committed in Libya.

The call comes in a fourth report on the situation in Libya, presented on Wednesday to the UN Security Council by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

The ICC opened investigations into international crimes committed in Libya in March 2011, at the request of the UN Security Council. Since then it has issued 130 requests for assistance, "many of which have yet to be fully executed", says the report. It encourages cooperation by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, which has conducted an investigation into crimes committed in Libya.

Regarding the "possible incidental loss of life" during the NATO bombing that helped bring down former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the prosecution says it "looks forward to NATO's cooperation in this regard". The report also mentions cooperation with Interpol, which is trying to track down billions in funds and assets reportedly belonging to the Gaddafi clan.

Outlining her strategy, Bensouda reminded the Council that her office is investigating crimes committed by the Gaddafi regime in 2011. She said the prosecution is also looking at the circumstances surrounding the death of Gaddafi on October 20, 2011, as well as crimes allegedly committed by rebels against the inhabitants of Tawergha, near Misrata.

The ICC issued three arrest warrants with regard to Libya, against Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam and his head of military intelligence Abdullah El-Senoussi. Libya has asked to take back the case of Saif Al-Islam and try him in its own courts. ICC judges are still deliberating. Tripoli is expected to make a similar request with regard to El-Senoussi.

Bensouda said she supported Tripoli's right to hold trials, but that her future strategy would depend on "the Government of Libya's progress" in implementing its anti-impunity strategy.

A tribunal in Benghazi on Wednesday sentenced five officers of the former regime to death for indiscriminate shelling of civilians and rapes committed during the 2011 uprising.

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