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Libya to try Gaddafi son, intelligence chief within next month

Libyan Justice Minister Salah Maraghni announced Saturday that the war crimes trials of Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [JURIST news archive], and brother-in-law and former intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile], will occur within the next month. Maraghni stated [RIA Novosti report] that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi and Gaddafi's former spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi will be put on trial once questioning is completed. Currently, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Sennussi are being held in custody in Libya. Saif al-Islam stands accused of crimes against humanity for murder and persecution during the Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder] under Gaddafi's regime. Saif al-Islam's trial will be in Zintan [UPI report], which has fulfilled the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] requirements necessary for the proceedings, according Taha Bara, the spokesperson for Libya's attorney general.

In October Libyan government lawyers urged [JURIST report] ICC judges to allow Saif al-Islam to be tried in Libya. They spoke during a hearing before the ICC, which was set to decide whether Saif al-Islam would be tried in Libya or at the ICC in The Hague. ICC judges are worried that Libya could not provide a fair trial. In September Libya postponed [JURIST report] Saif al-Islam's trial for five months so the prosecution could obtain evidence from Libya's former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi. Al-Senussi was extradited to Libya [JURIST report] from Mauritania earlier in September on charges of murder and persecution for planning attacks on civilians during the Libya conflict. Saif al-Islam's trial was originally scheduled to start [JURIST report] in September. Although the ICC issued a warrant for Saif al-Islam for crimes against humanity, the militiamen who captured him insist that he be tried in Zintan, Libya, where he has been held since 2011. Saif al-Islam was considered a likely successor to his father before an uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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