TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Thursday that Libya has evidence linking a son of deposed ruler Moammar Gadhafi to recruiting mercenaries and executing people.
The Hague-based court is in a dispute with Libya over who should try Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, once considered his father’s heir apparent. He was captured last year in Libya after a civil war that toppled the Gadhafi regime.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press the Libyan government has until the end of April to present a case to the court to back its demand to try him.
The international court indicted him in June along with his father and the Gadhafi regime’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senoussi, on charges of killing and persecuting civilians in the early days of the uprising that eventually brought down Gadhafi’s four-decade dictatorship.
Moreno-Ocampo said his court has evidence linking the son of Gadhafi to supervising and planning recruitment of mercenaries to fight the uprising.
“The Libyan general prosecutor has more evidence that confirms our reports and even more that links Seif to more crimes, some (where) he was involved in with his own hands as he executed people,” Moreno-Ocampo told the AP.
He declined to elaborate, saying the files were confidential.
Prosecutors were praised for their swift action last year in indicting Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam and al-Senoussi, but the court’s efforts to administer justice in Libya have been stymied by Gadhafi’s death, Libya’s refusal to surrender his son and uncertainty over the fate of al-Senoussi, who was arrested in Mauritania last month.
Moreno-Ocampo said additional Libyan officials are expected to be indicted over crimes committed during the rebellion.
Human Rights Watch said Thursday it expects the ICC prosecutor to press Libya to hand over Seif al-Islam to the court for trial.