The International Criminal Court is in “informal contact” with slain Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s fugitive son Seif al-Islam over his surrender, the court’s prosecutor said on Friday.
“Through intermediaries, we have informal contact with Seif,” Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement, issued at the court’s headquarters in The Hague.
“The Office of the Prosecutor has made it clear that if he surrenders to the ICC, he has the right to be heard in court, he is innocent until proven guilty,” Moreno-Ocampo said. “The judges will decide.”
But Moreno-Ocampo said his office learned through informal channels that a group of mercenaries were offering to move Seif to an African state not party to the ICC’s founding document, the Rome Statute.
“The Office of the Prosecutor is exploring the possibility to intercept any plane within the airspace of a state party in order to make an arrest,” he said.
Seif, 39, and Kadhafi’s security chief and brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, 62, are the most wanted fugitives from the slain despot’s ousted circle.
They are wanted by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity, committed after the start of the uprising against Kadhafi’s regime in mid-February. The ICC issued arrest warrants against Kadhafi, Seif and Senussi on June 27. Interpol issued “red notices” for their arrest on September 9.
Heir apparent to Kadhafi’s regime, Seif was also referred to as his father’s “de facto prime minister”, exercising control over the regime’s finances and logistics, while Senussi had control over certain security organs.
Seif was Tuesday poised to cross into Niger along with Senussi, his father’s ex-intelligence chief, a Tuareg official said.
Senussi has passed from Niger into Mali, security sources from both countries said Thursday, with sources claiming he was under Tuareg protection.
It was not known whether Seif was travelling with his group.
Moreno-Ocampo said his office was “galvanising efforts to implement the arrest warrants issued by judges of the ICC against Seif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi.”