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Kadhafi son 'hopes' for Libyan trial: ICC

Seif al-Islam, son of slain Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, told International Criminal Court officials he hoped to be tried in Libya but they doubted his statement, a report published Wednesday said.

Seif, 39, who is wanted by the Hague-based ICC for crimes against humanity in trying to put down the bloody revolt against Kadhafi last year, made the statement during a meeting with the officials in Libya last month.

"I hope I can be tried here in my country, whether they will execute me or not," he told two ICC officials, according to the report for judges from the court's registry dated March 5 and made public Wednesday.

But the report -- which also backed up claims that Seif had been mistreated -- said it appeared he "was playing the part for the benefit of the (Libyan) prosecutor," whose representative was present in the hour-long meeting.

The tense March 3 meeting happened in Zintan, a town about 180 kilometres (110 miles) southwest of Tripol,i where Kadhafi's eldest son has been held in custody since his capture by then Libyan rebel forces fighting to overthrow his father.

"It is important to note that for the registry representative, it was clear that (Seif) was not able to reply to the questions in the presence of the Libyan prosecution representative," the report said.

The only chance the registry official had to speak with Seif directly was when the Libyan prosecution official went outside for about five minutes and and Seif was asked whether he had been mistreated.

"His attitude changed from relaxed to intense and without saying a word he waved the hand where two fingers were missing and pointed to a missing tooth in the upper front" of his mouth, the report said.

The ICC issued a warrant for Seif's arrest and transfer to The Hague for trial, but so far Tripoli's new authorities have resisted, insisting he would get a fair hearing if put in a Libyan dock.

ICC defence official Xavier-Jean Keita has alleged that Seif had been assaulted since his arrest on November 19 last year in southwestern Libya.

Libyan authorities said Seif would be kept at a prison at Tajoura, about 22 kilometres (13 miles) outside Tripoli after his transfer to the capital, but added construction would only be finished in the next two months, the report added.

[Source: Agence France Presse, The Hague, 11Apr12]

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