‘Idea of the ICC hearing Gaddafi’s son case is a farce’
John Jones, Saif Gaddafi’s lawyer, on the trial: “The ICC has ordered Saif Gaddafi to be delivered to The Hague and that was ordered two and a half years ago by the Trial Chamber and confirmed by the Appeals Chamber. The position under international law is that Libya has an obligation to deliver him to The Hague; obviously it hasn’t happened so far. The sad fact is that the ICC has made this order, it hasn’t been respected and there has been no follow-up by the Security Council.”
Saif Gaddafi, a son of the former Libyan leader, is awaiting trial for the masterminding the murders and torture during the 2011 civil war in Libya. The hearing was postponed till November 16 after he failed to appear by video link from jail, which also triggered concerns about his safety, given that he is guarded by armed militia and is not being held in a government prison. Saif Gaddafi’s lawyers say that there has been no direct contact with him since June 2012 and he is still kept in Libya, though he should have been delivered to The Hague.
RT:While the ICC charged Saif Gaddafi along with his father in 2011, it still cannot compel the Libyan government to allow it access. Why is that? What does it say about the ICC's authority?
Lawrence Freeman: The whole effort by International Criminal Court is a complete fraud. The irony is that the very people, who created the ICC going back several years, coming out of British and American policy, are the same people who organized the overthrow and the assassination of President Gaddafi in 2011. We look at people like Tony Blair, Samantha Power, Susan Rice and others. So the idea that the Criminal Court is going to carry out any justice for the country, as they have the same sponsors of overthrow and destruction, I think, is a bit of a farce.
John Jones, Saif Gaddafi’s lawyer, on the trial: “I hope Saif Gaddafi is alive. You can imagine his condition after three years being held in those conditions, his mental state is probably pretty bad. My position is that he can’t have a fair trial now anywhere, in Libya or in The Hague. The only thing that can happen to him is to be released.”
RT:The former rebel groups holding Saif have refused to hand him over to the central government in Tripoli. How does this reflect on the actual power of the central authorities?
LF: There is no power of the central authorities right now in Libya: the country is worsening by the day, by the week, by the month. This was predictable when the country was overthrown three years ago. Some foolish people thought somehow that it would be an improvement for Libya, and many people now think Libya is headed into a failed state. This is directly the fault and responsibility of the American leadership. President Obama, Susan Rice and the British leadership. They bear full responsibility for Libya heading into a failed state and there is no manner called “legal action” that is going to correct that.
RT:Why has it taken so long to bring this man to justice?
John Jones, Saif Gaddafi’s lawyer, on the trial: “Simply bearing the name Gaddafi is enough to condemn people in the eyes of the world, of the international community. It may well be that Saif Gaddafi is entirely innocent of the allegations against him.”
LF: Right now Libya is not a nation, is not a country as its being destroyed day after day. Therefore, whatever actions are taken this is not going to solve Libyan difficulties, this will not bring justice to Libya. And the fact now is there are indications that you have the involvement of the Islamic State in Libya make the situation much worse. Of course this spills over into what is going on in Egypt and it spills over into what is going on in the Middle East with the policies of Obama contrary to the policies of the military are for the overthrow of Assad, President of Syria, which will spread war even further. So what we have between the Middle East and North Africa, we have the potential of spreading war and chaos that could lead to –with other events going on internationally in Ukraine and elsewhere- to a full-scale world war between the major powers. This is the immediate danger, and what happens to Gaddafi’s son that’s not the occasion of the same importance.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.