Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, the fugitive son of Libya’s toppled late leader, has told the International Criminal Court he is not guilty of alleged crimes against humanity, the court prosecutor said.
The court, based in The Hague, has said it made informal contact with Saif Al Islam, the son of Moammar Gaddafi, and is seeking to arrest him and bring him to trial on the charges stemming from Libya’s civil war.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the contact was through intermediaries, and Saif Al Islam maintained he isinnocent and wants to understand what could happen to him if cleared of charges.
“There are some people connected with him that are in touch with people connected with us, so we have no direct relation; it’s through intermediaries,” Moreno-Ocampo said in a brief interview after arriving in Beijing yesterday, where he is attending a law conference.
“But we trust very much the person who is in touch for our side. He says he is innocent, he will prove he is innocent and then he is interested in the consequence after that.”
The court charged Colonel Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam and Libya’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Al Senussi with crimes against humanity for the bombing and shooting of protesters in February.
Saif Al Islam fled Libya after forces loyal to Libya’s new rulers captured and apparently killed his father outside his hometown of Sirte. Gaddafi’s son is believed to have escaped across Libya’s southern border into Niger.
A senior military official of Libya’s National Transitional Council, said Saif Al Islam and Senussi wanted to surrender to the court in The Hague because they felt unsafe in Libya, Algeria or Niger.
Under a deal, Saif Al Islam would be taken to The Hague where the court shares a detention unit with the UN Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which is trying the former Liberian president Charles Taylor.
Moreno-Ocampo said Saif Al Islam was also concerned about what would happen even if he were found innocent.And he added the court was itself worried Saif Al Islam could escape its reach by fleeing to another country.