The Libyan authorities have announced that Saif Al-Islam Qadafi will stay in Libya for trial. His trial will begin next month. Saif Qadafi, the son of Muammar Qadafi is one of three person indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. Muammar Qadafi was also indicted but did not survive the fall of Tripoli.
The United Nations Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the ICC in February 2011. The court indicted Muammar Qadafi, Saif Al-Islam Qadafi and the country’s intelligence chief. Even while Muammar Qadafi was alive some suggested he should face a Libyan rather than an International process.
There has been an ongoing battle between the ICC and Libya for the handover of Qadafi, and Libya has now refused. Qadafi would not face a death penalty at the ICC and would have access to lawyers to present a defense to the charges. During the fight, Libya arrested lawyers sent by the ICC to prepare Qadafi’s defense.
The court has no authority or force to enforce its warrants for arrest and instead relies on the international community and the 121 state parties to the Rome Statute to enforce warrants and arrest those charged by the court. The court has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide occurring in the borders of those countries, or by nationals of those countries, or if the situation has been referred to the court by the U.N. Security Council, as has been the case in Darfur, Sudan, and Libya, which are not signatories to the treaty. The ICC is intended to provide a fair process where a national court cannot, or will not, or if the court does not have the means to provide a fair process.
Muammar Qadafi, and Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan are the first sitting heads of state to be indicted by international criminal tribunals, neither has yet appeared to face charges.