ICC to Libya: Hand over Gadhafi's son

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi speaks during a press interview in Tripoli on February 26, 2011

Story highlights

  • Libya has consistently said Gadhafi should be tried in the nation
  • It says the Hague-based court does not have jurisdiction in the case
  • Gadhafi has been held in the Libyan city of Zintan since his capture in 2011

The battle continues over which court should try the son of deceased Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

In the latest sign of a growing divide, the International Criminal Court on Friday rejected Libya's bid to try Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and asked the nation to hand him over.

Libya has consistently challenged the ICC's demand to try Gadhafi, saying the Hague-based court does not have jurisdiction in the case.

Gadhafi, who has been held in the Libyan city of Zintan since his capture in 2011, faces charges of crimes against humanity linked to the uprising that ousted his father about two years ago.

The pre-trial chamber of the court questioned Libya's ability to prosecute the younger Gadhafi, saying the nation's judicial institutions are not well-established following the uprising.

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"The Chamber found that multiple challenges remained and that Libya continued to face substantial difficulties in exercising its judicial powers fully across the entire territory," the court said in a statement.

In addition to other challenges, the court said, securing legal representation for him in Libya will put the lawyers involved at risk and impede the proceedings.

Last year, lawyers said Gadhafi was in isolation except for visits from officials. He also suffers dental pain, and Libyan authorities have given him nothing to remedy that, according to the lawyers.

Libya and the ICC have been going back and forth since his capture, with the court saying the nation is obligated to surrender the suspect.

Saif Gadhafi, once his father's heir apparent, was seized by militants in November 2011 as he tried to flee the nation.

A month before, his father was killed after rebel forces captured him near Sirte.