By Ashraf Abdul Wahab
Tripoli, 18 April:
The ICC Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo made a surprise visit today to Tripoli where he met NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil at the NTC headquarters.
During their talks Jalil told the ICC prosector that Libya was determined that the trial of Seif al-Islam would be held in Libya, not The Hague, and that the Libyan people had an absolute right to organise it.
At a press conference afterwards, Abdul Jalil reported that the talks with the ICC prosecutor had focused purely on the trial proceedings of Saif Al-Islam in Libya. He added that the Moreno-Ocampo had come to Tripoli to check the procedures put in place for Saif’s trial in Libya.
For his part, Moreno-Ocampo said that Libya would present to the ICC the reasons why it was opposed to sending Saif to The Hague. Its decision to accept or reject Libya’s position, however, depended on how convinced the court was by Libya’s arguments.
Moreno-Ocampo was asked by the Libya Herald correspondent as to whether the ICC had contacted the Mauritanian authorities about extraditing Abdullah Senussi to The Hague or managed to ascertain his conditions in prison.
It has been claimed that Qaddafi’s former spy master is now seriously ill in detention.
The chief prosecutor answered that no contacts had made with the Mauritanian authorities and that Libyan authorities were entitled to request his extradition to Libya.
To the same question, Abdul Jalil said that he had not seen Sanussi personally, but the Libyan delegation which had visited Mauritania last month were able to visit him at his place of detention and confirmed his identity. He added that there were constant contacts with the Mauritanian authorities and they had promised to hand Senussi to Libya as soon as the legal system and trials were up and running.