Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


ICC team in Libya could go free

19 June 2012, 14:18

 Sydney - An International Criminal Court team held in Libya could be freed if the ICC apologises to Tripoli over "inadequate consultation", Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Tuesday.

Carr travelled to Libya on Monday to meet top officials over the case of Australian Melinda Taylor, one of four ICC staff held in Zintan on June 7 after meeting Seif al-Islam, the detained son of dead dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The ICC wants to try Seif, 39, for crimes against humanity during his father's rule. Tripoli insists he should be tried locally and filed on May 1 a motion challenging the ICC's jurisdiction to put him on trial in The Hague.

Carr said the ICC staff could be freed by the ICC "issuing a statement which addresses the concerns of Libyan authorities and extends an apology for inadequate consultation on protocol and procedures".

"I'm confident that the Libyan government and even the authorities in Zintan are keen that the four detainees be released," Carr said in a statement to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"And I'm quietly confident that with an appropriate form of words from the International Criminal Court, that they will respond sooner rather than later."

‘Extreme sensitivities’

Carr said Libyan judicial officials investigating the actions of the four detained staff - Taylor and colleagues from Lebanon, Russia and Spain, who had been helping Seif choose a defence lawyer - were close to a conclusion.

But he said there were "extreme sensitivities" in the case, in which Taylor has been accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif a coded letter from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who is on the run.

Australia is happy to be a broker between Libya and the ICC, Carr said after meeting interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib and other senior government officials.

"They recognise they've got to have a dialogue when this affair is settled, and I think Australia could play a role as good global citizen in facilitating it, and both of them are open to that suggestion," he said.

There was "a lot of swirling resentment and hatred focused on Gaddafi in prison" and the ICC could have better protected its staff when it sent them to the country, Carr admitted.

Global pressure growing

"It's certainly true that the Libyan authorities, not just the people in Zintan, formed the view that something wrong was done, that there had been a breach of trust," Carr said.

"I believe the ICC would have been protecting its employees, Melinda Taylor included, better, if they had negotiated protocols and procedures with the Libyans before they allowed their people to go in."

International pressure has been growing on Libya to release the ICC team, with the UN Security Council issuing a statement expressing "serious concern" over their detention.

Seif has been held in Zintan, 180km southwest of Tripoli, since his arrest on November 19 last year.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...