The International Criminal Court (ICC) is in indirect contact with slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam about the possibility of surrendering for trial, but the chief prosecutor believes he could find his way into Zimbabwe.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo said talks were being held through intermediaries whom he did not identify. He also said he did not know exactly where Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was.
The prosecutor said he believes unidentified mercenaries were also offering to find refuge for Gaddafi in an African country that does not cooperate with the court. He mentioned Zimbabwe as a likely possibility, and said the court was in contact with other countries to prevent his escape by denying overflight permission to any plane carrying him.
The 39-year-old son of Muammar Gaddafi was indicted in June for inciting crowds to murder during the early stages of the Libyan revolution.
“We are having informal conversations with Saif Gaddafi in order to see if he can be surrendered to the court,” Moreno-Ocampo said in a telephone call from The Hague.
“We know he has a different option because apparently there is a group of mercenaries willing to move him to a country, probably Zimbabwe,” the prosecutor said.
Some of the mercenaries may be from South Africa, he said.
Gaddafi was pressing for clarifications about his fate should he be acquitted, and Moreno-Ocampo said he has made it clear to the fugitive that he could ask the judges to send him to a country other than Libya.
“He says he is innocent and he will prove his innocence,” the prosecutor said.