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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs