Appeals Chamber confirms Libya can try Abdullah Al-Senussi


Abdullah Al-Senussi (Left) at a court hearing in Tripoli. © 2014 Reuters


On the 24th of July 2014, the ICC Appeals Chamber unanimously declared the case against Abdullah Al-Senussi -former intelligence chief in Gaddafi’s government – inadmissible before the ICC.  The Appeals Chamber decision is final and not subject to any further appeal; Abdullah Al-Senussi can as a result be tried domestically in Libya. Al-Senussi’s defense counsel had appealed against an earlier decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC which found the case inadmissible since Libyan authorities were deemed willing and capable of trying Al-Senussi on their own.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) was critical of the decision taken by the Appeals Chamber since Al -Senussi has not been afforded due process rights during domestic proceedings in Libya and additionally HRW considers the Libyan judicial system as within close proximity to breakdown. Amnesty International (AI) also criticized the decision which it described as “deeply alarming” and would in effect lead to unfair domestic proceedings against Al-Senussi. However, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) welcomed the decision which it considered as a “positive answer to Libyans’ aspirations to see the alleged perpetrators of crimes against them face justice where those crimes were committed”.

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