Let Tripoli Try Saif al-Islam

Why the Qaddafi Trial is the Wrong Case for the ICC

Courtesy Reuters

A moment of sudden, bloody vengeance ensured that Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya’s longtime dictator, would never face justice in a court. But his son Saif al-Islam has been captured, and will face trial. The only question is where: in Libya, or at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The ICC established its claim to hold the trial when it issued arrest warrants in June against Colonel Qaddafi, Saif al-Islam, and the former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi (who remains at large). Now that Libyan forces have captured al-Islam, advocates for the ICC are calling for his trial to take place in The Hague or for the ICC to play a key role in any prosecution in Libya. But prioritizing the ICC’s involvement mistakes the interests of an institution for the values and victims that justice should serve. Libyans were grievously harmed by the Qaddafi regime for nearly half

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