Press Release: 31 May 2013

ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I rejects Libyan challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi


Today, 31 May 2013, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected the challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi suspected of crimes against humanity of murder and persecution, allegedly committed in Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011. The Chamber reminded Libya of its obligation to surrender the suspect to the Court. The Libyan authorities may appeal this decision or submit another challenge to the admissibility in accordance with article 19(4) of the Rome Statute.

A challenge to the admissibility of the case is granted if the case is being investigated by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution. The challenge to the admissibility of the case against Mr. Gaddafi was submitted by Libya on 1 May 2012 and the Chamber conducted an assessment of the evidence presented by the parties and the participants.

The Chamber concluded that it has not been sufficiently demonstrated that the domestic investigation cover the same case that is before the Court.

In addition, the Chamber recognized Libya’s significant efforts to rebuild institutions and to restore the rule of law. The Chamber, however, stressed that the Libyan State continues to face substantial difficulties in exercising fully its judicial powers across the entire territory. Namely, the Libyan authorities have not been able to secure the transfer of Mr Gaddafi into State custody and impediments remain to obtain the necessary evidence, and secure legal representation for Mr Gaddafi.

Pre-Trial Chamber I is composed of Judges Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, Presiding, Hans-Peter Kaul, and Christine Van den Wyngaert.

Summary of the decision (also available in Arabic)

Decision on the challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi

ICC Audio-visual programme, “News from the Court”: English Arabic ; and for download: MP4 (English Arabic) and MP3 (English Arabic).

More information on this case, please click here.

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]. 

You can also follow the Court’s activities on YouTube and Twitter