Reuters Africa

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – A war crimes lawyer who was detained in Libya for three weeks on spying allegations said on Friday her experience showed it was impossible for the son of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi to get a fair trial in his home country.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

Melinda Taylor, who was assigned to assist Saif al-Islam Gaddafi defend himself before the International Criminal Court (ICC), was imprisoned in Zintan along with three colleagues last month after being accused of smuggling documents to her client which her captors said threatened national security.

Her ordeal came as The Hague-based court was preparing to rule whether Libya is capable of offering Saif al-Islam a fair trial for war crimes he allegedly committed during the NATO-backed revolt that toppled his father last year. He denies the charges.

Libya has so far refused to extradite him, saying it would prefer to try him in its own courts and has challenged the ICC’s jurisdiction.

But Taylor, an Australian, said her experience showed Saif al-Islam had no chance of receiving a fair trial in Libya.

“These recent events have completely underscored that it will be impossible for Mr. Gaddafi to be tried in an independent and impartial manner in Libyan courts,” she told reporters in The Hague.

“The rights of my client were irrevocably prejudiced during my visit to Zintan.”  Read more…