By Michel Cousins and Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 30 August 2013:
Zintan will most definately not hand over Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi to be tried by the legal authorities in Tripoli, the Libya Herald has been told.
“It is impossible to hand him over to Tripoli”, said a senior Zintani local official today under conditions of anonymity. “And you can put three red lines under the word ‘impossible’,” he added. The reason, he said, was because “Tripoli is under the control of outlaws”.
He was believed to be referring to the alleged dominance of the Justice and Construction Party and the Muslim Brotherhood over the government and Congress and the large presence in the city of military units from Misrata and elsewhere.
Another influential Zintani official who did not want to be named, asked why Saif Al-Islam should be tried in Tripoli. Qaddafi’s son was being held in Zintan, he said, but Zintan was part of Libya and the prison he was in was under the control of the military police. The investigations, too, had been carried out by the Libyan authorities. The trial would have to be in Zintan, he said.
Today’s categorical statements reconfirm remarks by Zintan Local Council leader Mohamed Wakwak two months ago. At the beginning of July, he told this newspaper that Saif Al-Islam would not be handed over, in this case because Tripoli was in the hands of secularists and unbelievers.
Earlier this week, the Attorney-General announced that investigations into the cases of Saif Al-Islam and Abdullah Senussi were complete and that the two would be put on trial in September for murder and committing crimes against humanity.