Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ordered Libyan authorities to immediately to hand over Abdullah al-Senussi, deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief.
The written order sets up the latest legal showdown between the Hague-based court and Libyan authorities, who say they plan to put Senussi on trial themselves.
The ICC has indicted Senussi on crimes against humanity charges for the murder and persecution of protesters in the early days of the uprising that eventually toppled Gaddafi in 2011.
“Libya remains under obligation to comply with the surrender request,” the judges said in their statement. They would decide later how to respond if the North African state continues to hold Senussi, the judges added. The court hasthe power to refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council.
“The ICC has ordered an immediate halt to Libya’s unseemly rush to drag Mr. al-Senussi to the gallows before the law hastaken its course,” said Ben Emmerson, Senussi’s lawyer before the ICC.
Source: Al Jazeera, Feb. 7, 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/02/20132712296368106.html