On 2 July 2012, the Libyan authorities released the four ICC staff members who were detained in Zintan, following their visit to Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi on 7 June. The ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, who travelled today to Zintan, welcomed the Libyan decision to release them.
“The ICC is grateful to the Libyan authorities for their agreement today to release the Court’s staff members so that they can be reunited with their families”, President Song said during a press conference organised in Zintan by the Libyan authorities. The ICC President also thanked the Zintan authorities for their cooperation and expressed his relief that the ICC staff members were well treated during their detention. Diplomatic representatives of Australia, Lebanon, Russia and Spain also traveled to Zintan to receive their nationals.
The four ICC staff members, Alexander Khodakov, Esteban Peralta Losilla, Melinda Taylor and Helene Assaf were detained in Zintan during the course of a privileged visit to Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. The visit, authorised by the ICC’s judges, had the purpose of preserving the rights of the defence in the case against him before the ICC.
The circumstances of the visit became a matter of concern to the Libyan authorities, and have been the subject of investigation by them. Information about that investigation was presented to the Court during the visit of the Attorney General of Libya to The Hague on 22 June.
The ICC President confirmed that the information reported by the Libyan authorities on the visit’s circumstances will be fully investigated in accordance with ICC procedures following the return, scheduled today, of the four staff members to The Hague.
The ICC would like to extend its gratitude for the unconditional cooperation and support of the States in ensuring the release of the ICC staff members, in particular Australia, Lebanon, Russia and Spain.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].
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