International prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of committing crimes against humanity.
A son of the Libyan leader as well as his spy chief are also targeted.
“The evidence shows that Muammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians,” said International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
“His second eldest son, Saif al-Islam, is the de facto prime minister. And (Abdullah) al-Sanussi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, is his right hand man, the executioner, the head of military intelligence. He commanded personally some of the attacks.”
Saif has become a recognisable face on the international stage, defending his father’s crackdown on rebels.
Libyan officials have already denounced the ICC prosecutor’s actions, saying the court is a creation of the West to prosecute African leaders.
But rebel-held Benghazi had been crying out for such a move.
ICC judges must now see if there is enough evidence for warrants to be issued.