25 Mar Al-Senussi, Gaddafi Show Trial to Begin Next Month
According to Lebanon’s Daily Star, Libya intends to begin the trial on April 14, just a few weeks from now:
Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, Saadi Kadhafi and former spy chief Abdullah Senussi are among more than 30 officials from the ousted regime who are to stand trial on charges ranging from murder to embezzlement.
Former premiers Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi and Bouzid Dorda are also among those going on trial from April 14, Seddik al-Sour, spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office, told a news conference.
Charges against Kadhafi’s sons and aides include murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity.
Saadi Kadhafi, who was extradited from Mali earlier this month, is to stand trial in the same case, said Sour.
His older brother Seif al-Islam, Kadhafi’s former heir apparent, is being held by rebels in the western city of Zintan who have refused to transfer him to Tripoli for the trial.
Sour said he could stand trial via video conference from his detention cell in Zintan.
There is still no evidence that either al-Senussi or Gaddafi have ever had access to a lawyer, despite Libya’s constant assertions to the ICC that the government is doing everything in its power to arrange representation for them. Can’t let a little thing like Libyan law get in the way of a good show trial. And, of course, the nice thing about a show trial is that there really isn’t any need for the defendants to prepare a defence.
It’s also difficult to avoid noting the irony of Sour’s suggestion that Gaddafi could be tried via video link — exactly what the Assembly of States Parties and the Trial Chamber (though not yet the Appeals Chamber) have said is fine in the Kenya cases. To be fair, Libya would use videoconferencing without Gaddafi’s consent, whereas the ASP’s backdoor amendment of the Rome Statute was designed to placate Kenyatta and Ruto. But once the ASP and TC proved willing to dilute the clear presence requirement in Art. 63(1) of the Rome Statute, it was only a matter of time before states began taking liberties with presence, as well.