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ICC Suspects Abdullah Al-Senussi and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi Arrested: Continued Statements and Coverage
20 Nov 2011
It was reported on 20 November 2011 that Abdullah Al-Senussi - International Criminal Court (ICC) suspect and former director of military intelligence in Libya - has been captured in the south of Libya. This information follows the reported capture yesterday 19 November 2011 of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi – ICC suspect, former Libyan government spokesman and son of former Libyan leader of Muammar Gaddafi.
Abdullah Al-Senussi and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi are both wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Libya since 15 February 2011 onwards. Muammar Gaddafi, for whom an ICC arrest warrant had also been issued, died on 20 October 2011.
Please find below related news reports (I), as well as additional media statements issued by members of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (II) and other stakeholders (III) regarding these developments.
Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. NEWS REPORTS
« Al Senussi, Gaddafi Intelligence Chief, Captured: Reports, » AP/The Huffington Post , 20 November 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/20/senussi-gaddafi-intelligence-chief_n_1103801.html
“ The Libyan information minister says Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence chief has been captured by revolutionary fighters in the south of the country. Mahmoud Shammam says that Abdullah al-Senoussi was captured alive on Sunday by a brigade from a southern region called Fazan. Al-Senoussi's capture comes a day after Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam was caught trying to flee Libya to Niger. Both men are wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands.
Former Libyan rebel forces are negotiating al-Senoussi's surrender, Reuters reports [http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E7MK0G720111120].
"Abdullah al-Senussi was arrested in Al-Guira region in the south of the country," an NTC official told AFP. [http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gZijNRBYFTieiXEiAYS4Pjg0JtJQ?docId=CNG.62f08e7e31e2ff112b7b82a68cbd6d71.961]
Xinhua News [http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/21/c_122309331.htm ] reports that a National Transitional Council source has confirmed this report.
Al Jazeera noted that Abdullah Al-Senussi was captured at his sister's home in southern Libya. ..."
2. “Gaddafi's spy chief Abdullah al-Sanussi 'captured'”BBC news, 20 November 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15812736
"Col Gaddafi's fugitive spy chief Abdullah al-Sanussi has been captured, Libya's interim government says.
He was seized by fighters in the south of the country, officials say.
Mr Sanussi, who has not yet been seen in custody, was one of the last senior figures from the Gaddafi regime still on the run.
Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam was seized on Saturday. Both he and Mr Sanussi are wanted for alleged war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC)….”
II. COALITION MEMBERS STATEMENTS
1. “The Capture of Saif Al-Islam,” Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, Press release, 19 November 2011, http://www.iccwomen.org/
"The Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice welcomes the 19 November capture of Saif Al-Islam by forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC).
"This is an important development for Libya and an opportunity for the NTC to demonstrate its’ respect for the rule of law" said Brigid Inder, Executive Director.
'After months of intense unrest and widespread violence, it is time for the NTC to transition itself into a law abiding, human-rights respecting authority. The murder of former Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi by NTC forces, should not be repeated with the capture of the leaders son.’
On 26 February, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1970, referring the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC).The Resolution further imposed measures including an arms embargo, a travel ban on Colonel Gaddafi’s family and top ministers, and the freezing of Colonel Gaddafi’s family assets.
An ICC arrest warrant issued in June, charged Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam and Abdullah Al-Senussi with murder and persecution as crimes against humanity.
'Given the absence of domestic laws adequately addressing crimes against humanity within Libya, the limited institutional capacity, in the short term, of the police to conduct impartial and lawful investigations, and the existence of the ICC arrest warrant, the NTC should transfer Saif Al-Islam to The Hague,' said Inder. …”
2.“Libya: Transfer Saif al-Islam to the International Criminal Court,” Amnesty International, Press Release, 19 November 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/saif-gaddafi-must-be-transferred-safely-icc-2011-10-28
3.“Libya: Surrender Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to ICC --- Ensure Humane Treatment in Custody,” Human Rights Watch, Press Release, 19 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/
4. “Libya / Capture of Saif al-Islam: NPWJ calls for fair trial,” No Peace Without Justice, Press release, 19 November 2011, http://www.npwj.org/ICC/Libya-Capture-Saif-al-Islam-NPWJ-calls-fair-trial.html
5. “Q&A on the Arrest and Surrender of the Three ICC Suspects”, HRW, August 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/26/libya-qa-arrest-and-surrender-three-international-criminal-court-suspects
III. OTHER STATEMENTS
A. ASP STATEMENT
1. “President of the Assembly of States Parties welcomes arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi,” Press Release, ASP President H.E. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, ICC-ASP-20111119-PR744, 19 November 2011, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/2243BC6E-B58C-4A8A-9B21-D309E49AE5AC.htm
“Speaking in New York, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, welcomed the arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, against whom warrants of arrest were issued by the Court in connection with the Libya situation.
“By arresting Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi the Libyan authorities have taken a major step towards ensuring accountability and due process rights and towards fulfilling their obligations under international law”, said the President. He also commended Libyan authorities for their cooperation with the Court to date, rendered even in the face of difficult conditions on the ground.
The President further stressed that “I look forward to the continued cooperation of the Libyan authorities with the International Criminal Court, pursuant to their obligation under Security Council resolution 1970.” He added that, under the Rome Statute, Libya retained primary jurisdiction over all crimes committed on its territory. At the same time, since an ICC investigation had been opened, procedures contained in the Rome Statute needed to be followed. “It must be ensured that Saif Al-Islam is tried in a court of law and in accordance with international standards. Should the Libyan authorities wish to try him in Libya, they can make the case before the Court that their national judicial system is willing and able to do so in an independent and impartial manner”.
The President was also heartened by reports that the forces that had captured Mr. Gaddafi intended to treat him as a prisoner of war. He noted that international law generally and the Rome Statute specifically imposed an obligation to treat Mr. Gaddafi according to established international standards.”
B. EU STATEMENT
1. “Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the capture of Saif al-Islam,” 19 November 2011, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/126158.pdf
“The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:
"The reported capture of Saif al-Islam is a significant development. As Colonel Gaddafi's son and possible successor, Saif was a key player in the former regime. He also faces serious charges including allegations of crimes against humanity committed during the Libyan revolution.
It is of utmost importance that Saif al-Islam's safety is now ensured and his due process rights guaranteed so that he can be delivered to justice, in accordance with Libya's international obligations and the National Transitional Council's public commitments to respect the rule of law. In that context, continuing cooperation with the International Criminal Court should be assured.
Libya has now launched a process of democratic transition following a painful and bloody conflict and nearly 42 years of dictatorship. It is essential for national reconciliation and Libya's future stability that those responsible for human rights violations committed both before and during the recent conflict are brought to justice and that the facts surrounding such violations are brought to light."
CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the
ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands