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ICC / President of the Assembly of States Parties welcomes arrest of Saif Al- Islam Gaddafi

By International Criminal Court (ICC)
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THE HAGUE, Netherland, November 21, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Speaking in New York, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, welcomed the arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, against whom warrants of arrest were issued by the Court in connection with the Libya situation.

“By arresting Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi the Libyan authorities have taken a major step towards ensuring accountability and due process rights and towards fulfilling their obligations under international law”, said the President. He also commended Libyan authorities for their cooperation with the Court to date, rendered even in the face of difficult conditions on the ground.

The President further stressed that “I look forward to the continued cooperation of the Libyan authorities with the International Criminal Court, pursuant to their obligation under Security Council resolution 1970.” He added that, under the Rome Statute, Libya retained primary jurisdiction over all crimes committed on its territory. At the same time, since an ICC investigation had been opened, procedures contained in the Rome Statute needed to be followed. “It must be ensured that Saif Al-Islam is tried in a court of law and in accordance with international standards. Should the Libyan authorities wish to try him in Libya, they can make the case before the Court that their national judicial system is willing and able to do so in an independent and impartial manner”.

The President was also heartened by reports that the forces that had captured Mr. Gaddafi intended to treat him as a prisoner of war. He noted that international law generally and the Rome Statute specifically imposed an obligation to treat Mr. Gaddafi according to established international standards.