Australia demands that Libya release ICC lawyer representing Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
One small problem:
Australia has demanded that the Libyan government release a lawyer and Australian national working on the defense team for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the country’s former ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Melinda Taylor, a defense International Criminal Court lawyer in Libya ahead of proceedings against Gaddafi,Â was detained on Thursday for alleged breaches of Libyan national security,Â according to Australia’s ABC News.
Agence France-Presse reportedÂ that Taylor was accused of trying to pass “dangerous” documents on to Saif.
- Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr is in Jeddah, Sowdi Barbaria, to sort it out….— which means Australia, who has no dog in this fight, is now begging the Saudies to call on their muslim brothers in Libya to release her, for a price… Â We have to look on how our tax-dollars Â are being wasted to bail out Â aÂ Â Lynne StewartÂ type of lawyer who went to Libya in support of Saif al Islam (sword of Islam), Â the playboy-son of a mass-murdering dictator who was aiding and abetting the global jihad from Africa to Thailand and from the Philippines to South America when he was not hanging out with prostitutes in Monte Carlo?
Jooliar Gillard springs into action on her behalf:
THE Libyan government says detained Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor will be released if she divulges the whereabouts of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s right hand man, Mohammed Ismail.
Government spokesman Mohammad Al-Hareizi said Ms Taylor, who was assigned by the International Criminal Court to defend Muammar Gaddafi’s son, was in “safe hands”.
But he accused her of carrying papers from his personal fixer, who is on the run from Libyan authorities.
I’m not buying. Especially not this:
“Taylor is admired as a lawyer dedicated to the ICC’s cause of meting out justice and ensuring that even the most odious individuals such as Saif get a fair trial.”
Libya’s Â court system, such as it is, remains largely non-functioning. Untold numbers of people are said to be languishing in prisons across the country, mostly in the hands of militia.
“There is an ongoing problem of militias detaining people and the transitional government appearing not to be able to do anything about it,” says Richard Dicker, head of Human Rights Watch’s international justice program. “There are thousands of detainees who are beyond the reach and authority of the government in Tripoli.”
Saif is one of them. And so, now, is Taylor, even though ICC officials in The Hague insist that, as a court official, she enjoys diplomatic immunity and therefore cannot be subjected to local laws.
Adding to the confusion, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said he has been told by Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Aziz that she is being detained “not by militia, not by the freedom fighters, but by the judicial police as they’re called, and she’s therefore the responsibility of the attorney-general of Libya”.
Given the authority exerted by the Zintan militia, that seems unlikely.
What is clear, however, is that Taylor and her colleagues — Russian senior adviser Alexander Khodakov, Spanish head of counsel support Esteban Peralta Losilla and Lebanese translator Helene Assaf –were taken into custody midway through a meeting requested by Saif.
According to reports from Libya, when Taylor passed a letter to Saif from one of his closest friends and former aides, Mohammed Ismail, the meeting was halted and the ICC team arrested.
The head of the Zintan militia brigade, Alajami Ali Ahmed al-Atiri, told reporters that Taylor was arrested after Saif’s jailers found “spying and photography equipment on one of the delegation”, apparently referring to the camera and tape recorder carried by Taylor.