ICC Sends Team To Libya After Delegation Detained

The four-member delegation was being held in the western mountain town of Zintan after one of its lawyers, Australian Melinda Taylor, was found carrying documents regarded as suspicious for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a Libyan lawyer and a militia member said on Saturday.

The president of the international war crimes court demanded their immediate release.

“An (ICC) delegation arrived today in Tripoli. They are holding meetings with officials about this,” said the Libyan official, without giving further details.

Reflecting Libya’s wider problem of powerful local militias and a weak central government, the Zintan brigade holding Saif al-Islam said it would not heed the government’s request to release the four ICC staff before questioning them.

“They are still under investigation,” a member of the brigade said. “The visiting delegation won’t see them just yet.”

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said he had spoken to Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Muhamed Aziz about Melinda Taylor’s detention.

He said Aziz had confirmed in a telephone call that Taylor was “being held by Libyan authorities in Zintan and would be detained pending further inquiries,” Carr said in a statement.

“I raised Australia’s concern for Ms Taylor’s welfare and Mr Aziz assured me that she is safe and well,” Carr said in the statement. “I emphasised our strong interest in seeing the matter resolved quickly and urged Mr Aziz to facilitate full consular access to Ms Taylor.” Reuters