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ICC refers Libya to Security Council over Gaddafi’s son

Mahmud Turkia, AFP | Saif al-Islam, the son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, during a trial broadcasted live from the Libyan city Zintan on April 27

The International Criminal Court on Wednesday said Libya was in violation of an obligation to hand over murder suspect Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and referred the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

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"It is appropriate to make a finding of non-compliance by Libya with the court's requests for cooperation at issue and refer the matter to the Security Council," the court said in a statement.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is accused of ordering atrocities in a failed attempt to put down the uprising that led to the toppling and killing of his father, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.

Although he is being held by rebels in the country’s western Zintan region who operate outside the internationally recognised government’s authority, the ICC said in May that Libya must hand him over.

In its statement, the ICC “recognised that throughout the proceedings, Libya demonstrated in several respects its commitment to the court and made genuine efforts to maintain a constructive dialogue."

"The chamber also noted the volatile political and security situation in Libya and stated that it was sensitive to the serious difficulties that Libya is currently facing," it added.

The court said its move was not intended "to sanction or criticise Libya but solely to seek the assistance of the Security Council to eliminate the impediments to cooperation."

Once a member of his father’s inner circle and the country’s de facto prime minister, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was captured by fighters in November 2011. Libyan authorities have been unable to secure his transfer from Zintan to the capital Tripoli.

Libya has been in crisis ever since Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall three years ago. The country is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and has rival governments and parliaments.

On Monday, the United Nations postponed a new round of peace talks between Libya's warring factions aimed at ending months of violence and political deadlock.

Fierce clashes persist in the country’s second city Benghazi and west of Tripoli between forces loyal to the internationally recognised government and a rebel group of mainly Islamist militias.

A previous attempt to arrange UN-brokered talks between the different factions in June was unsuccessful.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

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