Gaddafi son, intelligence chief "want to surrender"

ABU DHABI Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:14pm BST

Saif al-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, smiles as he greets supporters in Tripoli in this August 23, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/Files

Saif al-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, smiles as he greets supporters in Tripoli in this August 23, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett/Files

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ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi propose to hand themselves in to the International Criminal Court, a senior official with Libya's National Transitional Council said on Wednesday.

"They are proposing a way to hand themselves over to The Hague," Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters from Libya.

Spokesman for the Hague court Fadi El Abdallah said: "We don't have confirmation about this now. We are trying to contact the NTC for more information."

Saif al-Islam is wanted by the war crimes court, as was his late father. There is also a warrant out for Senussi.

Saif al-Islam has been on the run since Libyan forces overran his father's home town Sirte at the weekend. He is thought to be somewhere near Libya's southern border with Niger.

Mlegta said his information came from intelligence sources who told him that Saif al-Islam and Senussi were trying to broker a deal to surrender to the court through a neighboring country, which he did not name.

They had concluded that it was not safe for them to remain in Libya, or to go to Algeria or Niger, two countries where Gaddafi family members are already sheltering.

"They feel that it is not safe for them to stay where they are or to go anywhere," Mlegta said.

In any case, they said that Niger was asking for too much money for them to stay.

In June the ICC issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity after the U.N. Security Council referred the Libyan situation to the court in February.

All three were charged with crimes against humanity for the Libyan regime's violent crackdown on protesters in February.

It was only the second time that the U.N. Security Council had referred a conflict to the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court.

The Security Council referred the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region to the ICC in 2005.

(Reporting by Samia Nakhoul; Additional reporting by Aaron Gray-Block in The Hague; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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