Australian ICC lawyer Melinda Taylor arrested in Libya

She is working for the “International Criminal Court”–highly respected in the Islamic world, no doubt:

  • Libya arrests Australian ICC lawyer
  • Claims she passed documents to Gaddafi’s son
  • “Documents represent a danger to the security of Libya”

An image taken from the “February 17” website shows Seif al-Islam, the son of killed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, after he was captured in southern Libya and flown north to the town of Zintan.

AN Australian lawyer working for the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been detained in Libya for allegedly trying to pass “dangerous” documents to her client, the son of former dictator Moamar Gadaffi.


Melinda Taylor was part of a four-member ICC delegation that had travelled to Zintan, where Seif al-Islam has been detained since his capture in November.

The court’s Libyan representative, Ahmed al-Jehani, said Ms Taylor tried to hand over letters from Seif’s former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who has been on the run since the revolt, which were “a danger to the security of Libya”.

“She is not in jail,” he said. “She is being detained in a guesthouse, her colleagues are with her.”

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) spokesperson said Australian authorities were attempting to assist the lawyer.

“We can confirm an Australian lawyer working for the International Criminal Court has been detained in Libya,” they said.

“Australian consulate officials are seeking consular access to the lawyer, and clarification from the government in Tripoli on the circumstances of her detention,” they said.

Ms Taylor graduated from the University of Queensland with an arts/law degree and her sights set on an international career.

In 2006, she established the ICC Office of Public Council for the Defence in 2006, which represents and protects the rights of the defence during the first stages of an investigation.

She has previously worked as a defence consultant at the defence office for the War Crimes Court in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on defence cases before the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The ICC, based in The Hague, is the first permanent international court capable of trying those for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national courts can’t or won’t.

Seif is at the centre of a dispute with new Libyan authorities over charged for his role in the uprising that toppled his father’s rule after more than 40 years in power.

The ICC wants to charge Seif with war crimes and crimes against humanity in The Hague, saying Libya is too insecure and its judiciary too weak to stage a fair trial.

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