AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A senior lawyer at the International Criminal Court has asked the court to report Libya to the U.N. Security Council over its failure to extradite Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late Libyan leader.
Xavier-Jean Keïta, principal counsel at the ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defense, asked the court to reject an appeal filed by Libya on Tuesday requesting more time to transfer Saif-al Islam to the Netherlands.
“The fact that the Libyan authorities have filed a request for leave to appeal does not exempt them from compliance with the chamber’s decision,” the lawyer said.
“ICC decisions are binding until such time as they are reversed, or suspended.”
The ICC issued a warrant for Saif al-Islam in June last year, after prosecutors accused him and others of involvement in the killing of protesters during the revolt that eventually toppled and killed his father, Muammar Gaddafi, in August.
Ahmed al-Jehani, the Libyan lawyer in charge of the Saif al-Islam case and who liaises between the Libyan government and the ICC, said on Wednesday that the Zintan fighters who captured and hold Saif al-Islam in a secret prison in Zintan want him tried locally.
Libya’s government wants to transfer Saif al-Islam to the capital and put him on trial there rather than transfer him to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
He faces the death penalty if found guilty by a Libyan court, but a prison term if convicted by the ICC.
“Libyan authorities have also been cautioned of the consequences of non-cooperation, but have taken no steps to commence the implementation of Mr. Gaddafi’s surrender to the ICC,” Keita said in a statement.
The ICC can report countries refusing to cooperate to the United Nations. The Security Council could impose penalties, but such steps would need the support of all permanent members.
(The story was corrected to change all references to ICC prosecutor to ICC defense lawyer at the Office of Public Counsel for the Defense)
Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Jon Boyle