War crimes court had no confirmation of Seif's arrest

The International Criminal Court (ICC) "never" had confirmation of the arrest of Seif al-Islam, one of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's sons said to have been captured by the rebels, a spokesman said Tuesday.

"After yesterday's announcement, we communicated with the National Transitional Council to have confirmation of the arrest, but we never received it from the NTC," the ICC's spokesman Fadi el-Abdallah said – after Seif al-Islam spoke to journalists to refute the "lies" about his capture.

The chairman of the NTC Mustafa Abdel Jalil told Al-Jazeera television overnight he had "information that Seif al-Islam has been captured".

"He is being kept in a secure place under close guard until he is handed over to the judiciary," Abdel Jalil said, without giving a date or place for his reported capture.

The ICC prosecutor in The Hague, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told AFP later "I have received confidential information stating he has been arrested."

But in a dramatic twist, Seif el-Islam appeared in person to journalists in a vacant lot outside his father's Bab al-Azizya compound in Tripoli in the very early hours of Tuesday to demonstrate that he had not been taken and proclaim that the capital remained under the regime's control.

Before the revolt which erupted in February, he was increasingly seen as the successor to his father, despite publicly ruling out any dynastic ambitions in the North African country.

He long served as the face of the regime in the West as he appeared in suits and ties and spoke fluent English.

Along with his father, he is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity.

[Source: Agence France Presse, The Hague, 23Aug11]

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