Int'l court: Rebels have detained Gadhafi's son

AP News
Posted: Aug 21, 2011 8:23 PM
Int'l court: Rebels have detained Gadhafi's son

Rebel "special forces" arrested Seif al-Islam Gadhafi _ a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi indicted along with his father on crimes against humanity charges, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said early Monday.

Seif Gadhafi was indicted with his father and Libya's intelligence chief earlier this year for allegedly ordering, planning and participating in illegal attacks on civilians in the early days of the violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press that Seif Gadhafi had been detained by "rebel special forces." He declined to give more details of the arrest or the source of the information.

"Tomorrow morning we will talk to them," Moreno-Ocampo said of the rebels. "It is time for justice, not revenge."

Seif Gadhafi's detention came as rebels advanced into the Libyan capital Tripoli with little resistance and a rebel leader said the unit in charge of protecting Gadhafi and Tripoli had surrendered and joined the revolt, allowing the opposition force to move in freely

Moreno-Ocampo said he had no word on the whereabouts of Libyan leader Gadhafi.

"We hope that Moammar Gadhafi is also arrested and also faces justice," he said. "There is no more impunity for these crimes."

Moreno-Ocampo charged Gadhafi, his son and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi in May with involvement in a campaign to attack civilians in their homes, shoot at demonstrators with live ammunition, shell funeral processions and deploy snipers to kill people leaving mosques.

Judges at the court issued international arrest warrants for all three men in June, but the court has no police force and was reliant on rebels to detain them.

Moreno-Ocampo says he has evidence of Gadhafi issuing orders and his son organizing the recruitment of mercenaries to fight for the regime.

The United Nations Security Council called in February for a probe into atrocities against opponents of Gadhafi's regime. Moreno-Ocampo could not have opened an investigation without the U.N. approval because Libya does not recognize the court's jurisdiction and has not ratified its founding treaty.

After arrest warrants were issued, Libyan Justice Minister Mohammed al-Qamudi dismissed the court as a front for NATO.

"It's merely a political tool for exerting pressure and political blackmail against sovereign countries," he said.

Moammar Gadhafi is only the second head of state indicted by the court after Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged with genocide for allegedly masterminding widespread attacks on civilians in the Darfur region. Al-Bashir has refused to accept the court's jurisdiction and remains at large.