Fair trial for Saif not possible in Libya, says ICC lawyer

 

Benghazi

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi cannot get a fair trial in Libya, according to an International Criminal Court lawyer who was speaking days after being released by a rebel group who accused her of spying.

Gaddafi, who has been held by a militia in the western town of Zintan since being captured last November, has been indicted by the ICC on war crimes charges.

But Melinda Taylor, who was held captive by the same group for four weeks, said that his right to a fair trial in Libya had been "irrevocably prejudiced". The militia group has insisted on him being tried in Libya.

Ms Taylor's intervention came on the eve of the first elections in Libya since the downfall last year of Colonel Gaddafi.

And the transition has not been without problems, with a disparate range of groups insisting on different outcomes. Federalists want the regions to exercise a large degree of autonomy.

This would mean that the east, centred on Benghazi, would be in a powerful position with its oil riches. There is also resentment at the way the seats are distributed, with claims that this would entrench power in Tripoli and the west.

Opposition to the voting also comes from Islamists, including the armed Partisans of Sharia, which holds that a Muslim nation does not need any other constitution than that decreed by the Koran.

This group was responsible for closing down key oil terminals and blockading the port of Sidra yesterday in protest at what it sees as the betrayal of the revolution.

The armed activists claim that the first elections of free Libya, being held today, will be an injustice to those who began the uprising in the east of the country.

The squeeze on fuel came a day after a depot in nearby Ajdabiya was set ablaze, destroying election material including ballot papers and party and voters lists.

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