Libya detains Hague lawyer on visit to Gadhafi′s son | News | DW | 09.06.2012
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Libya detains Hague lawyer on visit to Gadhafi's son

An International Criminal Court lawyer has been seized by Libyan authorities for apparently trying to pass on "dangerous" letters to Gadhafi's son. Meanwhile violence has hit the country's remote southeastern region.

The lawyer was detained on Saturday after she allegedly tried to pass on suspicious letters to Seif al-Islam, the son of the country's former dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who is currently being detained in the country, according to a Libyan lawyer.

"During a visit (to Seif al-Islam), the lawyer tried to deliver documents to him, letters that represent a danger to the security of Libya," said Ahmed al-Jehani, the Libyan lawyer presiding over the case, and intermediary actor between the Libyan government and International Criminal Court (ICC) .

"She is not in jail. She is being detained in a guesthouse, her colleagues are with her."

The lawyer, Melinda Taylor, of Australian nationality, formed part of an ICC delegation made up of four people that travelled to the isolated mountain town of Zintan in western Libya, where Seif al-Islam has been held since he was captured last November.

According to al-Jehani, a watch concealing a camera and a pen with a built-in camera were discovered when the delegates were searched before their scheduled meeting with Seif al-Islam. When asked when she would be released, al-Jehani responded: "I hope today."

Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam

Libya wants Gadhafi's son to be tried in one of its own courts

The ICC issued a warrant for Seif al-Islam last year over allegations concerning his involvement in the massacre of protesters during the rebellion that eventually led to his father's ousting and eventual death after ruling for 42 years. But the Libyan government has so far opposed the move, arguing that the former ruler's son should be tried on Libyan soil. In May, it filed a legal challenge against the ICC over the row.

Tribal violence

Meanwhile, there were reports of violence in Libya Saturday. Two people were killed and several injured in a showdown between Libyan soldiers and tribesmen in the southeast, according to local reports. Violence hit the city of Al Kufra in the early hours, where the military has been trying to put a stop to clashes between the rival Tibu and Zwai tribes.

"The Tibu launched an attack on the city, the army responded and fighting is continuing," said Muftah Abukhalil, a member of the local council.

Libyan authorities are struggling to bring an end to the violence, with rivalries and divisions proving fatal in a country awash with weapons. The remote southeast in particular has historically played host to repeated bloody clashes between rival tribes.

sej/rc (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)