Doubts remain over whether Libya's national authorities will give Muammar Gaddafi's son a fair trial. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan leader, has been held under guard by a militia in Zintan in western Libya for close to two years, as the new Libyan authorities and the International Criminal Court (ICC) argue over who will try him. After failing in a bid to prosecute the ICC's allegations against Gaddafi, it's time for Libya to follow its legal obligations and turn him over to the ICC.
The ICC has issued arrest warrants for both Gaddafi's son and Abdullah Sanussi, Gaddafi's former intelligence chief. The stakes surrounding a decision about which court conducts any trial are high, but if conducted fairly, these proceedings offer the possibility to determine guilt or innocence over allegations of the gravest of international crimes. Summary proceedings - without proper investigations or due consideration of the facts - would squander a unique opportunity to demonstrate and strengthen its rule of law.
How the ICC became involved in Libya
On 26 February 2011, as government violence against peaceful protestors in several Libyan cities escalated, the United Nations Security Council, by a vote of 15-0, adopted Resolution 1970 to refer Libya's deteriorating situation to the ICC. Resolution 1970 requires the Libyan authorities to cooperate fully with the court, even though Libya is not a member. That obligation includes abiding by the court's decisions. Libya itself has promised to cooperate with the ICC and has openly acknowledged that it is bound by Resolution 1970