By Ashraf Abdul Wahab and Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 7 September 2013:
Qaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam, and former spy chief, Abdullah Senussi, will attend . . .[restrict]a pre-trial hearing on 19 September, Justice Minister, Salah Al-Marghani, has confirmed to the Libya Herald.
Although Zintani officials are adamant that Saif, who is being held in a prison facility in Zintan, will not be tried in the capital, Marghani appeared to believe that Saif would be among the 22 defendants scheduled to appear before a Tripoli court later this month.
“As far as I am concerned, the pre-trial chamber will be held in Tripoli on 19 September and there will be a number of people put in front of the judge,” Marghani said. “This is not the trial itself, but is a pre-trial where the judge will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to send those people to court or not.”
Only last week, however, Zintan insisted that it would not allow Saif to stand trial in the capital. A senior Zintani official told the Libya Herald that it was impossible to hand him over because Tripoli was under the control of outlaws.
Marghani batted away questions about negotiations with Zintan to hand over Saif, saying only, “there should be 22 people present.”
There is no such question mark hanging over Senussi’s attendance, as he is being held in an official Tripoli jail.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is still demanding that Senussi and Saif be handed over to stand trial at the Hague, but Libya is determined not to let senior figures from the old regime be tried in international courts. [/restrict]