By Ahmed Elumami and Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 18 September 2013:
Qaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam will not be attending a planned pre-trial court hearing . . .[restrict]in Tripoli tomorrow, according to a senior Zintan official.
“Saif will not be handed over to Tripoli,” spokesperson for Zintan Local Council Omar Matooq told the Libya Herald, “he will be tried in Zintan.”
Saif, Qaddafi-era spy chief Abdullah Senussi, and 20 other senior Qaddafi officials were due to attend a pre-trial hearing tomorrow, with Saif and Senussi facing charges of crimes against humanity.
Zintani officials have consistently denied that Saif would be handed over but, a week ago, Justice Minister Salah Al-Marghani told the Libya Herald that as far as he was concerned all defendants would be present at tomorrow’s hearing.
It is not yet clear whether Zintan is holding the equivalent pre-trial hearing tomorrow or at a later date. A separate case brought against Saif, charging him with trying to escape and insulting the Libyan flag, was also due to be heard tomorrow.
Matooq said that a meeting was being held in Zintan to decide whether or not media would be able to attend Saif’s forthcoming court cases. Journalists were present at Saif’s May court appearance in Zintan. [/restrict]