News / Africa

ICC Trying to Secure Surrender of Gadhafi Son, Spy Chief

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says his office has been "galvanizing efforts" to bring a son of Moammar Gadhafi to justice as well as the former Libyan leader's spy chief.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo says efforts are underway to secure the surrender of Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, as part of a broader probe into alleged war crimes committed by pro-Gadhafi forces, revolutionary fighters and NATO.

He says his office is also examining whether former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi ordered mass rapes to persecute those considered Libyan dissidents or rebels. The exact whereabouts of both men are unknown.

The ICC prosecutor commented on Wednesday in remarks to the United Nations Security Council.  

He said a probe has been launched concerning alleged crimes committed by Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), including the detentions of civilians suspected of being mercenaries and the killing of detained combatants.  

Rights groups have said NTC fighters singled out sub-Saharan African migrant workers for arbitrary arrest due to assumptions they supported Gadhafi.

Moreno-Ocampo did not provide details of possible crimes by NATO forces.  However, western allies, have denied allegations they deliberately targeted civilians during NATO's seven-month bombing campaign against pro-Gadhafi forces, which ended Monday.

The ICC prosecutor said his office has been informed that Libya's new leaders will look into the circumstances surrounding Gadhafi's death.  Libyan Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the council Tripoli would ensure all those involved in crimes not covered by ICC jurisdiction receive "transparent investigations and fair and just trials in Libyan courts."

Earlier Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used a visit to Libya to urge the country's new leaders to secure weapons stockpiled by the former government.

Ban said it is particularly important to secure stocks of shoulder-fired missiles and chemical and biological weapons. Some of those arsenals were left unguarded during the chaotic outcome of Libya's popular uprising this year.

The U.N. Security Council warned in a resolution Monday of the risk that terrorists and other armed groups in the region could gain access to the Gadhafi government's weapons.

Ban, visiting Libya for the first time since the uprising began in March, told NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil the United Nations will support the Libyan people in their transition to democracy.

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

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Henry Ridgwell
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