Libya: Freed ICC staff head back to Europe

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Libya: Freed ICC staff head back to Europe

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Four members of the International Criminal Court arrived in Rome for a stop-over before heading for the Netherlands after earlier being freed by Libya.

They had been detained in the north African country for a month on suspicion of spying.

The allegations had been made when the team had visited Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the captive son of the deposed Libyan leader.

ICC President Sang-Hyun Song expressed relief at their release.

“I also wish to emphasise that in carrying out its functions the Court has no intention of doing anything that would undermine the national security of Libya,” he said.

Two of the four, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor and Lebanese-born interpreter Helene Assaf, were held in the town of Zintan, accused of smuggling documents and hidden recording devices to Gaddfi’s son. Two male ICC staff stayed with them.

Taylor had been sent to Libya to represent Saif al-Islam, whom the ICC wants extradited to face charges of war crimes. Libya has refused, preferring to try him in its own courts.

The ICC has promised to investigate any alleged wrongdoing by its staff and to impose sanctions if thought necessary.