Seif al-Islam, son of slain Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, has been attacked in detention in Libya, a lawyer from the International Criminal Court said Thursday, accusing authorities of denying him basic rights.
ICC defence official Xavier-Jean Keita said local officials have failed to get Seif needed dental treatment, denied him visits with family and friends and kept him in isolation for 139 days except for contact with authorities and prosecutors.
“Mr. Kadhafi has been physically attacked,” Keita told AFP, without giving details on the attack or saying when it took place.
“He also suffers pain due to the absence of dental treatment. The Libyan authorities have failed to take any steps to remedy this pain,” he added.
The ICC wants to bring Seif to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity for his role in battling the uprising against his father last year, but Libya’s new government wants to try him at home.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Seif, 39, on June 27. He was arrested on November 19 in southern Libya and is being held in Zintan, 180 kilometres (110 miles) south of Tripoli.
Keita, who is from the ICC’s Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (OPCD) and is acting as Seif’s primary counsel, said he has only been allowed one brief visit with his client.
“The right to effective representation cannot be secured in a setting in which the OPCD has no ability to conduct privileged communications with Mr. Kadhafi on an ongoing basis, or to transmit privileged documents to him,” he said.
He added that local officials had interrogated Seif with no lawyer present and lied about their investigation against him, saying he was being probed for failure to obtain a camel licence and irregularities related to fish farms, rather than more serious crimes such as rape and murder.
The statements come a day after ICC judges issued a ruling demanding Libya immediately hand over Seif.
It was the second time judges asked Tripoli to hand him over, after last month rejecting an initial Libyan request for a postponement.
Keita said Libyan authorities have never given a legal justification for their failure to hand over Seif.
“He has been kept in a legal black hole,” he said.
Rights group Amnesty International backed the ICC’s request Thursday.
“An unfair trial before a Libyan court where the accused could face the death penalty is no way to guarantee justice and accountability,” Marek Marczynski, head of Amnesty’s international justice team, said in a statement.
Also Thursday, the global police agency Interpol issued alerts seeking the arrest of two senior officials in Moamer Kadhafi’s ousted regime on suspicion of torture and kidnapping.
A statement from the France-based body said Libya had requested assistance in detaining two officials identified as former interior minister Al-Senussi Alozyre, 63, and his former deputy Naser al-Mabruk, 60, accused of offences including illegal arrests and torture.
Several other Libyan officials are subject to Interpol “Red Notice” arrest requests, including the dictator’s surviving sons and his former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, who is being held in Mauritania.