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The Hague rules Libya can try Gadhafi spy chief

The Hague has ruled that Libya can try Moammar Gadhafi's spy chief. Previously, the International Criminal Court (ICC) had demanded Abdullah al-Senussi’s handover for trial.

Because Libya plans to try Abdullah al-Senussi in domestic courts, ICC judges ruled the case "inadmissible before the court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity." Senussi and others - including Saif al-Islam, Gadhafi's son and former heir apparent - stand accused of crimes against humanity during the 2011 revolt against the dictator.

ICC judges ruled that "the case against Senussi is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation."

According to the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding document, The Hague cannot carry out proceedings against a suspect already receiving a fair trial on similar charges in a domestic court. However, the court announced that it would allow appeals if it appeared that Senussi had not received a free trial.

The pretrial chamber decided that "the evidence submitted by Libya is sufficient to conclude that the Libyan and the ICC investigations cover the same case and that concrete and progressive steps are being undertaken by the domestic authorities in the proceedings against Senussi."

The chamber took into account the former spy chief's detention by state authorities, the quality of the evidence against him in the domestic case, and "efforts made to resolve certain issues in the justice system by recourse to international assistance."

mkg/kms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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