News / Africa

ICC Prosecutor Says Gadhafi's Death May Be War Crime

Image taken from amateur video posted on a social media website and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, covered in blood, after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.
Image taken from amateur video posted on a social media website and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, covered in blood, after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.

The International Criminal Court's ICC chief prosecutor says there are "serious suspicions" that the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was a war crime.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo made the comments Thursday at a press briefing at the United Nations. Moreno-Ocampo said the ICC is asking Libya's interim government how it plans to investigate alleged war crimes, including those of revolutionary forces.

"I think the way in which Mr. Gadhafi was killed creates suspicions of war crimes and I think that a very important issue," the chief prosecutor said.

Gadhafi was captured and killed in October in unclear circumstances. Videos and witness accounts indicate he was alive after the capture, but he was later seen bloody and beaten shortly before he died.

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) leaders have been under intense pressure from Western allies to investigate the circumstances of Gadhafi's death.

Moreno-Ocampo says the ICC is also working with the NTC on the case of Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, as well as Libya's former intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senoussi, who were both captured and face charges for their role in the uprisings.

Seif Gadhafi is the custody of Libyan authorities, and the NTC says it will try him at home.

The ICC wants to ensure the interim government is capable of giving Seif Gadhafi a fair trial. ICC judges have asked the NTC to inform them of their plans before January 10. The judges will decide where Seif Gadhafi will be tried if the Libyan government tries to challenge the ICC's jurisdiction.

The death of Gadhafi and the Seif Gadhafi's trial are part of a broader ICC probe into alleged war crimes committed by pro-Gadhafi forces, revolutionary fighters and NATO.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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