Saif al-Islam Assaulted in Detention

The son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi has been assaulted in jail as the ICC and Libyan NTC wrangle over jurisdiction

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Gabe Kahn,

Saif al-Ilsam, Before the Fall
Saif al-Ilsam, Before the Fall

The International Criminal Court on Thursday said Saif al-Islam – son of slain Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi – was attacked in detention.

“Qaddafi has been physically attacked,” ICC defense official Xavier-Jean Keita said in a statement, accusing Libyan authorities of depriving the country’s onetime favorite son of his fundamental rights.

“He also suffers pain due to the absence of dental treatment,” the lawyer said.

Saif al-Islam is wanted on charges of crimes against humanity for his role in trying to put down the uprising to unseat his father in Libya last year.

Keita, who is from the ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defense (OPCD) and is acting as Saif’s primary counsel, said “effective representation cannot be secured in a setting in which the OPCD has no ability to conduct privileged communications with Qaddafi on an ongoing basis.”

“Qaddafi has been interviewed by domestic authorities without the benefit of legal representation, and has been provided misleading information concerning the status of domestic investigations against him,” the statement said.

Keita's remarks were made as the ICC and Libya's post-Qaddafi National Transitional Council wrangle over jurisdiction for Saif al-Islam's trial.

Also Thursday, the global police agency Interpol issued alerts seeking the arrest of two senior officials in Muammar Qaddafi’s ousted regime on suspicion of torture and kidnapping.

A statement from the France-based body said Libya had requested assistance in detaining two officials identified as former interior minister Al-Senussi Alozyre, 63, and his former deputy Naser al-Mabruk, 60.

They are “accused of a range of offences including carrying out illegal arrests, unjustified deprivation of personal liberty and torture.”