News World News

Monday 20 January 2020

Gaddafi's son appears in court

Seif al-Islam has appeared in court on charges of harming state security (AP)
Seif al-Islam has appeared in court on charges of harming state security (AP)

The son of Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has appeared in court on charges of harming state security, but the judge adjourned his hearing until September 19 to allow his defence lawyers more time.

Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, the dead leader's heir apparent, wore a sky blue safari suit and a pair of sandals. He remained standing throughout the 15-minute hearing in the western Libyan town of Zintan. He smiled at times.

It was his second court appearance since the case opened in January.

Seif al-Islam is also facing charges of attempting to escape prison and insulting Libya's new flag.

The charges are linked to his June meeting with an International Criminal Court delegation accused of smuggling documents and a camera to him in his cell. The four-member team was detained by Zintan rebels but released after the ICC made an apology and pledged to investigate the incident.

The charges are separate from those by the International Criminal Court, which indicted Seif al-Islam for the murder and persecution of protesters in the uprising that ultimately toppled his father's regime in 2011.

According to filings by defence lawyers at the ICC, Seif al-Islam said he wants to be tried for alleged war crimes in the Netherlands, claiming that a trial in Libya would be tantamount to murder. "There will certainly be no justice in the case if the prosecution is based on evidence from torture," he said. "I am not afraid to die but if you execute me after such a trial you should just call it murder," he added.

Seif al-Islam, the most senior member of the Gaddafi regime to be captured by the rebels, is on trial in Zintan, the hometown of the rebels who captured him.

The group was part of a larger force that seized the capital, Tripoli, in August 2011, ending more than 40 years of Gaddafi's rule. The Libyan leader was killed two months later while trying to escape rebel forces storming his hometown of Sirte.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News