The decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reject the appeal submitted by Saif al-Islam, son of late President Muammar Gaddafi, before The Hague, angered many Libyans, especially supporters of the former regime who stressed that local laws “prevent the extradition of Libyans to foreign countries.”
The Appeals Chamber of ICC unanimously confirmed on Monday the admissibility of the case against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi before the Court and rejected his appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision dismissing his challenge to the admissibility of this case.
In this regard, Issa Abd al-Qayyum, a Libyan political analyst, said that the decision “has no effect at the local level for several reasons, mainly because Libya has not signed the Court’s protocol, and therefore it is not a party to it.”
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he explained: “The constitutional declaration and Libyan laws since the monarchy did not allow extradition of Libyans to foreign countries.”
He also pointed to “a popular refusal to surrender Saif al-Islam, given that he had previously appeared before a Libyan court.”
In a statement, the ICC said that having considered “the submissions of the Defense, the Prosecutor, the victims, Libya’s government and others, the Appeals Chamber found that the Pre-Trial Chamber did not err in concluding that the Libyan judgment of 28 July 2015 against Saif Gaddafi was rendered in absentia.”
It added that this was also supported by the Libyan Government’s submissions to the ICC.
“Thus, under Libyan Law, the Tripoli Court’s judgment cannot be considered final. The Appeals Chamber further agreed with Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision that the Libyan Law No. 6 (2015) in respect of amnesty is not applicable to the crimes for which Saif Gaddafi was convicted by the Tripoli Court. Accordingly, the Appeals Chamber rejects Mr Gaddafi's appeal,” the ICC explained in the statement.
Mohamed Lamloum, Minister of Justice of the Libyan National Accord government, had called, during his participation in the sessions of the Appeals Chamber of the ICC on November 10, last year, to “hold Saif al-Islam accountable for the charges against him.”
But Abd al-Qayyum responded to the National Accord government’s insistence on trying Saif al-Gaddafi before the ICC, saying that it was a “flawed act, which was criticized by legal and human rights groups, and a political decision to serve the government’s survival in power.”