By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 13 December 2014:
Ahead of tomorrow’s court hearing in the trial of Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and 31 regime-era . . .[restrict]officials, the Minister of Justice in the Tripoli-based administration of Omar Al-Hassi has accused Zintan officials of scuppering efforts for Saif’s attendance via video-link.
“I and the whole cabinet have been looking to execute justice and have Saif under the authority of the courts,” Mustafa Al-Glaib told the Libya Herald. “The Ministry tried to have the video-link because this was a way for Saif to appear in court, but the criminals in Zintan have stopped this effort.”
The Attorney General’s office had said previously that ongoing unrest in the Jebel Nafusa had made it impossible for technicians to reach Zintan for the last two court hearings, to fulfil the court arrangement that Saif would appear on live video-link.
Glaib, however, said that since the trial restarted, attempts to set up the video-link had been scuppered by officials in the mountain town. “We tried to send a technician to the jail there to set up the video-link but Zintan didn’t allow him in, didn’t allow him access,” Glaib said. “We kept trying and we are still trying now.”
After the 17th February Revolution, the “dream” of making all criminals stand before justice within the context of a real court and justice system had become a reality, he said. He added that the way Zintan was now handling the case of Saif was undermining this.
“Saif’s trial should be on TV so all Libyans and the international community can watch and follow what’s happening in the trial, but the Zintanis are hiding him now,” he said.
Local residents have reported that much of Zintan has been left without internet connectivity and mobile phone reception since fighting broke out in the Jebel Nafusa. This is believed to have been a contributing factor to the video-link not being set up. Glaib insisted, however, that Fajr Libya had never deliberately cut any services to the town.
“There have been no attacks on Zintan, so they should inform the courts what the situation is with Saif because they are responsible for that,” he said. “They have judges, prosecutors and even local authorities there who should at least tell the media what is happening and whether Saif is still alive and well.”
Saif is still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for crimes against humanity, but Libya has consistently refused to hand him over. On Wednesday, the ICC issued a finding of non-compliance on the part of the Libyan authorities and referred the case to the UN Security Council. [/restrict]