TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya will put deposed dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s son on trial, defying a demand by the International Criminal Court, the Libyan representative to the Hague court said Monday.
Ahmed al-Jehani said the trial of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi will begin next month. One possible venue is Zintan, a town in the western mountains, where he is being held.
Seif al-Islam Gaddafi was considered his father’s political heir. The ICC issued an arrest warrant and demanded to try him on war crimes. Libya has argued that its new regime should try him.
Seif al-Islam Gaddafi was captured last year by a militia from the western mountain town of Zintan, where he has been held ever since.
A Zintan militia has been holding Gaddafi. Local spokesman Khaled al-Zintani said Monday a government delegation inspected the town, and a decision on whether to try him there will be made later.
The ICC has expressed concern that Libya is not set up to give the younger Gaddafi a fair trial. During his four decades of rule, Moammar Gaddafi dismantled most institutions, setting himself up as the sole ruler.
After Gaddafi’s overthrow, capture and killing last year, interim rulers struggled to unite the country, leaving powerful militias and tribes in control of various areas. A newly elected parliament is working on appointing a Cabinet after choosing a president. Among its main tasks is to build a functioning judiciary.
Libya has insisted that it is capable of putting on a proper trial for Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. He has expressed a preference to be extradited to the Hague for trial.
Also Monday, a small bomb hit a vehicle of an Egyptian diplomat in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. No one was hurt.
Maged al-Urfi, a Benghazi internal security spokesman, said the explosive hit the car of the deputy at the Egyptian consulate in an upscale Benghazi neighborhood that houses foreign diplomats.
The diplomat was at home at the time Monday, al-Urfi said, adding that a small amount of explosives was in the device, not enough to injure passengers.
“This is meant to send a message, not hurt,” he said. He declined to elaborate.