Justice Minister adds further confusion to Saif trial debate
By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
The Minister of Justice has told the Libya Herald that the trial of Saif Qaddafi will be held next month, but insisted that suggestions it will take place in Zintan are unfounded.
“The trial of Saif Qaddafi will take place in the second half of September”, Ali Ashour Ehmida said.
“The location of the trial has not yet been decided, and the circulating news suggesting it will be held in Zintan is unfounded. Investigations and collation of evidence will continue until the day of the trial”.
He did not confirm whether or not the International Criminal Court would be involved in proceedings.
The intervention by the justice minister has thrown added uncertainty onto both the timing and the location of the trial, as well as the question of whether or not the ICC will have a role.
Over the past week there have been no fewer than five interventions from various sections of Libya’s judicial and political leadership on the matter.
Thus far, the office of the prosecutor-general has suggested the trial will take place next month, in Zintan, and without the involvement of the ICC.
The Libyan representative to the International Criminal Court has also said the trial would take place next month, but has not been definitive on either the location or ICC involvement.
Meanwhile both the deputy prime minister and the speaker of the National Congress have insisted that no decision has been made on any of the above three issues.
The ICC has thus far declined to offer comment, except to say that it is aware of the reports and that it has yet to be formally contacted by the Libyan authorities.