Gadhafi's Son Requests to Drop ICC Case, Citing Standing Conviction in Libyan Court

Seif al-Islam's lawyer says International court has clear provision against double jeopardy after he was already sentenced to death in Libya.

In this Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 photo, Seif al-Islam is seen after his capture in the custody of revolutionary fighters in Zintan, Libya.
Ammar El-Darwish, AP

Lawyers for Seif al-Islam Gadhafi will file an application with the International Criminal Court to have his case dropped because the son of the late Libyan dictator has already been convicted in Libya for the same actions.

His lawyer, Karim Khan, said Monday that "the court will receive a filing in due course seeking to declare the case inadmissible," adding he expected to file in the coming months.

He added that the basis for the filing would be that the ICC has a clear provision against double jeopardy — trying a person twice for the same conduct — in its statute and the fact that Seif-al-Islam Gadhafi was already tried and sentenced to death by a Libyan court in July last year. The sentence has not been carried out.

Gadhafi is not being held in Tripoli, where the trial was held, but in Zintan, where he attended the case via video link. Zintan is controlled by a militia opposed to the forces that control Tripoli.

However, Gadhafi's lawyers insist the Tripoli trial and conviction are legal and should stand. Asked why Gadhafi would choose a death sentence in Libya over a trial before the ICC in The Hague, his Libyan lawyer Khaled Zaydi said the country's parliament approved an amnesty law in September last year which he believes should be applicable to his client.

Also, his legal team stressed that in Libya a death sentence can be commuted.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Gadhafi in 2011 on preliminary charges of crimes against humanity, murder and persecution for being part of the inner circle of his father's regime, which used lethal force against demonstrators in 2011.