November 20, 2011 / 3:03 AM / 8 years ago

Saif Gaddafi could face death penalty in Libya - minister

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Saif al-Islam Gaddafi will be put on trial in Libya for serious crimes that carry the death penalty, Libya’s interim justice minister said on Saturday.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (L) is pictured standing in a plane in Zintan November 19, 2011. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Asked by Reuters what Libya planned for him, Mohammed al-Alagy said: “He has instigated others to kill, has misused public funds, threatened and instigated and even took part in recruiting and bringing in mercenaries.

“This is just a small account of the crimes that the Libyan prosecutor general is going to bring against him.”

Asked if such crimes carried the death penalty, Alagy, who has said he does not expect to retain his post in a new government due to be named in the coming days, said: “Yes.

“It was created by Gaddafi.”

The International Criminal Court at The Hague indicted the younger Gaddafi for crimes against humanity relating to allegations that he ordered the killing of demonstrators after February’s uprising. But Libyans want to try him at home for crimes allegedly committed over previous years.

“We are ready to prosecute Saif al-Islam,” Alagy said. “We have adopted enough legal and judicial procedures to ensure a fair trial for him.”

Noting that the interim government had done away with special military courts used by Muammar Gaddafi to persecute opponents, Alagy said: “We have abolished all exceptional courts and have separated the judicial and executive powers.

“We call on all international and local organisations to attend Saif al-Islam’s trial. We will prosecute him in accordance with the international standards.”

He said the final charge sheet would be up to the prosecutor general: “We can’t speculate and accuse him before it is officially announced by the prosecutor who will investigate the matter.

“We all know that Saif al-Islam is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. I do not think that the Libyan prosecutor general will indict him for anything less than that.”

The ICC does not have the death penalty.

(Reporting by Omar Younis and Ali Shuaib; Writing by Alastair Macdonald)

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