| by Hassina Leelarathna
(October 24, Los Angeles, Sri Lanka Guardian) An international team of lawyers representing the interests of Saif al Islam Gaddafi, son of the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, has written to US leaders demanding that he be protected from assassination and holding the United States and NATO responsible for the Libyan leader’s ‘brutal assassination’ and repeated attacks on Libya’s civilian population.
|Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, speaks to the media last week. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP|
In a letter reportedly faxed on October 20, the day the Libyan leader was assassinated, Saif’s lawyers told the White House, the Office of the Secretary of State, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Libyan Embassy in Washington that there is credible information that NATO has ordered his killing in order to prevent him from presenting evidence compiled regarding its Libyan operation.
“His [Saif’s] planned and we believe approved assassination is meant to spare NATO the international accountably that awaits them as the World learns from eyewitness accounts and reliable, competent and probative physical and demonstrative evidence compiled over the past six months, exactly what NATO has wrought on Libya and its civilian population.” The letter was released by Franklin Lamb, an international attorney who is on Saif’s legal team.
The team is also asking that the International Criminal Court take custody of the remains of Moammar and his son Mutassim Gadhafi and that forensic examinations be conducted prior to filing criminal charges against those responsible for the alleged extra-judicial killing.
In a press release, Mr. Lamb said the team intends to defend Saif against charges filed against him by the International Criminal Court on June 26, 2011 and to prove in Court that “following the passage of UN Security Resolution by the United Nations Security Council on March 17, 2011, NATO has repeatedly targeted civilian targets with more than 9,000 bombing sorties in Libya as part of its campaign to assassinate the Libyan leader Colonel Gadhafi and his close aides and advisers.”
Mr. Lamb claims that Saif remains popular, that he had been planning to run for office, and that informal polls throughout Libya show him garnering close to 70% of the vote if allowed to stand for office under the “now NATO controlled country.”
The legal team is also warning of deep civil war if international law is not applied to Libya and that as many as six (unnamed) African countries will be sending troops to protect Libyan civilians against NATO forces.
Saif al-Islam is believed to be still in Libya and is said to have addressed supporters in a message broadcast by Syria’s Arrai TV Channel, loyal to the Libyan ex-leader. “We continue our resistance. I am in Libya, I am alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge,” Russia’s “RIA Novosti” news agency quotes Saif al-Islam as saying on the Syrian Channel on Saturday night.