News / Africa

Gadhafi Will Tell No Tale in Court

Anti-Gadhafi fighters return fire during clashes with pro-Gadhafi forces in the center of Sirte October 17, 2011.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters return fire during clashes with pro-Gadhafi forces in the center of Sirte October 17, 2011.
Joe DeCapua

While the death of Moammar Gadhafi has caused massive celebrations in Libya, it may also have a downside. It could mean the Libyan people will not have the chance to go through the full peace and reconciliation process by putting him on trial.

Justice done?

Professor David Crane of Syracuse University is the former chief prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the man who signed the arrest warrant for former Liberian leader Charles Taylor.

“There is a bit lost. Yes, justice seems to have been done, but in reality we tend to focus on the dictator,” he said. “We should be focusing on his victims – 42 years of oppression. And the victims want the truth to be told about their families, about what took place in Libya.”

Crane said when a “dictator” is killed, it holds the “potential of the truth not coming out.”

Rule of law

Trials are still possible for Gadhafi’s son, Saif, and the country’s former intelligence chief, who are still at large.

Crane said, “We have two competing equities here. We have the people of Libya and their new government wanting to prosecute Moammar Gadhafi and his son and the intelligence chief and others under Libyan domestic law, whereas we also have now the International Criminal Court very much involved. And they’re certainly going to want to be involved or at least certainly prosecute as well.”

Crane prefers that the Libyan people hold trials in their own courts.

“In the long term, the key to their success will be rule of law,” he said.

But does Libya currently have a functioning judicial system to accommodate such proceedings?

“That’s another good question because again we want to make sure that justice is done, but the justice has to be fair and open. The standard would be a willingness and an ability. If they are unable or unwilling to do this according to international standards, then the International Criminal Court could step in…. But if the Libyans have standing courts, they’re open and ready to function, then it’s going to take a pretty big showing that they’re unable or unwilling,” Crane said.

He said in neighboring Egypt, trials are underway of former government officials.

“I think that that the future, frankly, of modern international criminal law is that countries stepping forward and prosecuting those who abuse their own citizens, versus the International Criminal Court stepping in. The International Criminal Court has always been a court of last resort,” he said.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid