Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council, vowed Monday the elusive Muammar Qaddafi would receive a fair trail, should he be captured alive.
Rebels Promise Qaddafi, Sons 'Fair Trial'
Rebel political leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil promised Muammar Qaddafi a 'fair trial' should he be taken alive.
Gabe Kahn., 22/08/11 19:28
Mustafa Abdel Jalil
The announcement came shortly before Libya's Jamahiriyah state television channel went off the air, when a rebel spokesman announced their forces had taken control of state TV headquarters in Tripoli.
Speaking in a press conference in Benghazi Monday afternoon, Jalil promised that Gaddafi would be treated according to law in a signal he was confident victory was just around the corner.
"I have no idea how he will defend himself against the crimes he has committed against the Libyan people and the world," Jalil stated adding he hoped Qaddafi would be caught alive so he could face trial "in which the world will be witness to the biggest dictator in the world."
The rebel leader further revealed that Qaddafi's captured sons, Mohammed and Saif al-Islam, are "under the control of the revolutionaries and are in safe places."
Meanwhile, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court was contacting Libyan rebels Monday to urge them to hand over the sons of Qaddafi, detained during their dramatic thrust into Tripoli, and not take the law into their own hands.
"It is time for justice, not revenge," Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press early Monday, shortly after receiving confirmation that opposition forces had detained Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, his father's one-time heir apparent who has been indicted on crimes against humanity charges.
Moreno-Ocampo charged Qaddafi, his son and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi in May with involvement in a campaign to attack civilians in their homes, shoot at demonstrators with live ammunition, shell funeral processions and deploy snipers to kill people leaving mosques.
Moreno-Ocampo stressed that he wants to put Seif Qaddafi on trial in The Hague.
"Muammar, Seif and al-Sanoussi are three persons indicted by the ICC, they should be turned over to the ICC," the prosecutor said. He said that a new Libyan government would have to decide how to handle cases involving lower-ranked officials.
But forces loyal to Qaddafi still control 15-20% of the capital with snipers and have stationed tanks near his compound in central Tripoli and are resisting rebel attempts to advance and shelling rebel positions in the city center - leading some observers to conclude Qaddafi has no intention of being taken alive.
"The situation is not stable. There is gunfire everywhere. Qaddafi's forces are using tanks at the port and Al Sarine street near Bab al-Aziziyah," said the rebel official in Tripoli, who gave his name as Abdulrahman.
"Snipers are the main problem for the revolutionaries. There is a big number of martyrs, including my brother and two of my neighbors," he added.