Press Release: 24 July 2014

Al-Senussi case: Appeals Chamber confirms case is inadmissible before ICC


​​Situ​ation: Libya 
Cas​​e: The Prosecutor v. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi 

​Today, 24 July 2014, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously confirmed Pre-Trial Chamber I's decision which declare​​d the case against Abdullah Al-Senussi inadmissible before the ICC.

On 2 April 2013, the Libyan authorities filed a challenge to the admissibility of the case with regard to Abdullah Al Senussi before Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC.  On 11 October 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided that the case against Mr Al-Senussi was inadmissible before the Court as it was subject to on-going domestic proceedings conducted by the competent Libyan authorities and that Libya was willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation. On 17 October 2013, the Defence appealed this decision.

In an open session today, the Presiding Judge in this appeal, Judge Akua Kuenyehia, read a summary of the Judgment of the Appeals Chamber and of the separate opinions by Judges Sang-Hyun Song and Judge Anita Ušacka. The Presiding Judge indicated that the Appeals Chamber examined thoroughly the three grounds of appeal submitted by the Defence of Mr Senussi. The Appeals Chamber concluded that there were no errors in the findings of the Pre-Trial Chamber that Libya is not unwilling or unable to genuinely prosecute Mr Al-Senussi, or in the exercise of its discretion in the conduct of the proceedings and in the evaluation of the evidence.

In accordance with the Rome Statute, the ICC does not replace national criminal justice systems; rather, it complements them. The ICC can investigate and, where warranted, prosecute and try individuals only if the State concerned does not, cannot or is unwilling genuinely to do so.

Today's judgment has no bearing on the case against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. On 31 May 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected Libya's challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and reminded Libya of its obligation to surrender the suspect to the Court. On 21 May 2014, the ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed the Pre-Trial Chamber I's decision. 

Background: The situation in Libya was referred to the ICC Prosecutor by the United Nations Security Council, through the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1970 on 26 February 2011. On 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued warrants of arrest for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces. On 22 November 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I formally terminated the case against Muammar Gaddafi due to his death.

For further information on this case, please click here.

Judgment on the appeal of Mr Abdullah Al-Senussi against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of 11 October 2013 entitled "Decision on the admissibility of the case against Abdullah Al-Senussi'"

Audiovisual materials

Photographs of the hearing

YouTube (for viewing):

Video MPEG-4 (for download): (462.7 MB)

Audio MPEG-3 (for download): (22.3 MB)

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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