It has been eight years since the United Nations Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda presented the 18th report on the situation in Libya on November 6, 2019 highlighting the recent developments in the situation, ongoing investigations and case against three ICC fugitives.
“I must observe with serious concern that there has been an escalation of violence in Libya over the reporting period,” said Bensouda.
More than 100 civilians have been killed, 300 injured and 120,000 displaced since April 2019.
She stressed that Libya is under the duty to arrest and surrender Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Al-Tuhamy Mohammed Khaled and Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli.
The three Libyan fugitives are alleged to have committed grave international crimes that include: murder, torture, cruel treatment, persecution, torture and other inhumane acts.
Gaddafi filed an appeal challenging the decision rejecting the admissibility of his case. The appeals chamber have slotted a hearing to listen to the submissions and observations of his appeal on 11 and 12 November 2019.
The Appeals chamber had invited the UNSC to submit their observations in October and have also invited Libya to submit their observations on issues that arise from the appeal by November 7, 2019. The hearing is scheduled for 11 and 12 November 2019.
Irrespective of the ICC prosecutor asking for arrest and surrender of the culprits, Mr Al-Werfalli was promoted the second time from a major to Lieutenant Colonel on July 8. The first promotion in 2017 was after videos were uploaded online showing unlawful executions by Al-Werfalli.
“This promotion sends a clear message that General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the [Libyan National Army] LNA, has no intention to genuinely prosecute Mr Al-Werfalli for the crimes alleged in the ICC arrest warrants…Mr Al-Werfalli continues to be rewarded for his behavior,” said Bensouda.
The three cases remain in the pre-trial stage until the fugitives are arrested and transferred to the ICC. The arrest warrant against Gaddafi has been outstanding since 2011, Al-Tuhamy’s arrest warrant has been outstanding for six years since it was issued under seal whereas Al-Werfalli’s has remained unexecuted more than two years since the first arrest warrant was issued by the Court.
Bensouda revealed that her Office has information of the three suspects who still remain at large.Gaddafi and Al-Werfalli are believed to be in Libya, in the Zintan and Benghazi area respectively, whereas Al-Tuhamy is said to be in Cairo, Egypt.
“The people of Libya deserve peace and stability. Bringing those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice facilitates that coveted outcome,” said the ICC prosecutor.
Bensouda also congratulated the United Kingdom on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council. The United Security Council presidency is held in turn by each member for a month.
Read more on Bensouda’s statement: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=191106-stat-icc-otp-UNSC-libya
18th report on the situation of Libya: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=191024-report-icc-otp-UNSC-libya