Aisha Gaddafi seeks to nix her brother Saif al-Islam’s trial for crimes against humanity in Libya

A daughter of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi asked today to intervene in crimes-against-humanity proceedings against her brother at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, according to The Associated Press.

Aisha Gaddafi’s brother Saif al-Islam was arrested by rebel fighters in November and has been held incommunicado since then, according to the AP, which said Libya’s new authorities want him to stand trial in his country but must first convince the ICC that he would get a fair trial on legally equivalent charges.

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Saif al-Islam is charged with crimes against humanity, meaning any of several crimes committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack on a civilian population. The charges arise from his regime’s efforts last year to suppress the popular uprising that ultimately toppled the Muammar Gaddafi government and killed him in October.

The ICC does not appear likely to gain custody of the suspect any time soon, according to the AP.

Through her attorney, the Israeli lawyer Nick Kaufman, Aisha said she wished to act as a “friend of the court” and provide “concrete information” to help the court reach a decision, according to the AP.

In another recent crimes against humanity case, Kaufman briefly acted as a legal consultant to the defense for Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, the former head of Pol Pot’s secret police, who is appealing his 2010 conviction and 35-year sentence at Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Aisha Gaddafi hired Kaufman last month to push for an ICC investigation of the deaths of bother her father and her brother Mutassim.

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Aisha appeared likely to highlight apparent demerits of Libya’s transitional legal system. Her written pleading said her information would “assist the Pre-Trial Chamber in determining whether the Libyan authorities truly desire to provide Saif al-Islam Gadhafi with effective legal representation or to afford him a fair trial,” according to the AP.

According to the AP, Aisha wants to provide records of her attempts to reach bother her brother and of conversations she has had with Libya’s deputy prosecutor.

"From these telephone conversations, it may be inferred that the Libyan authorities who purport to be investigating and prosecuting Seif al-Islam Gadhafi refuse to deal with international legal counsel,” her written request reportedly said.


According to the AP, Saif al-Islam was indicted along with his father and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi. Al-Senoussi's whereabouts are unknown and the case against Muammar Gaddafi was closed following his capture and killing in October.
 

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