Gaddafi son eyes safety, talks to Hague

Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:46pm GMT
 

France, a key backer of Febuary's revolt, reminded Africans of obligations to hand over the surviving ICC indictees - former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and Saif al-Islam: "We don't care whether he goes on foot, by plane, by boat, by car or on a camel, the only thing that matters is that he belongs in the ICC," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.

"We don't have many details, but the sooner the better."

Despite reduced circumstances since his father's overthrow in August, the younger Gaddafi, whom some have described as a playboy in his days at the London School of Economics, may have access to portable wealth in the form of bundles of banknotes and gold bars, as well as to secret, unfrozen foreign accounts.

Niger, Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso, a swathe of arid states to the south of Libya, are all signatories to the treaty that set up the ICC, established to give a permanent international tribunal for crimes against humanity after ad hoc bodies set up for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.

"If we reach agreement, logistical measures for his transfer will be taken," ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said. "There are different scenarios, depending on what country he is in."

Without its own police force, the ICC depends on cooperation from member states -- which do not include world powers the United States, Russia and China. Its focus so far on Sudanese, Congolese and Kenyans has left some Africans disgruntled.

Powers on the continent like South Africa and Nigeria are signatories. But Algeria, which took in Saif al-Islam's mother, sister, brother Hannibal and half-brother Mohammed, is not. Nor are Sudan, Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe and a number of other nations where leaders might see advantage in giving him a haven.

MERCENARIES

As well as enjoying protection from Tuareg allies who traditionally provided close security for the Gaddafis, Saif al-Islam may still be in the company of mercenaries from elsewhere in Africa, including possibly South Africa, NTC officials say.   Continued...

International Criminal Court's (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo arrives at a news conference to comment on the arrest warrant issued for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (L) in The Hague in this June 28, 2011 file photo.  REUTERS/Jerry Lampen/Files
 
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