Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ibrahim O. Dabbashi, Chargé d’affaires a.i. before the Security Council on the briefing of the ICC Prosecutor General in New York, 08 May 2013
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to thank you Mr. President for giving this opportunity to speak in this important meeting of the Security Council. I wish also to congratulate you on your election as the president of the Council for this month, wishing you and your delegation success in the discharge of this mission. I wish also to thank Ms. Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court for her comprehensive briefing on the work of the ICC regarding Libya.
The Prosecutor General elaborated on the excellent nexus connecting the ICC, represented in the Prosecutor’s Office, and the Libyan judiciary authorities. It is clear that this relationship is based on complementarity and cooperation. It is also clear that both parties are guided by common denominator that is the administration of justice and preventing impunity. Undoubtedly, the talks between the Prosecutor General of the ICC and the Prosecutor General of Libya, which she referred to in her briefing, paved the way for this cooperation toward new horizons through opening new lines of thoughts that would achieve a shift in the relationship to an actual partnership in the framework of complementarity through the suggestion that the office of Prosecutor General would investigate those accused of perpetrating heinous crimes and who are currently outside of Libya.
The Prosecutor General expatiated on trying Saif al-Qadhafi and Abdalla Sinusi. However, I would like to reiterate that the conditions of their detention are in full conformity with international criteria; hence prosecuting them, as well as prosecuting all those responsible for heinous crimes, will be conducted in line with internationally known fair and impartial legal principles. All technical arrangements have been made to start trials upon completing of investigations.
Today, I would like to state the new Libya’s interests to eliminate any links with the practices undertaken by the previous regime and Libya’s insistence on the rule of law. Libyan judiciary authorities have indicated their insistence on conducting fair, impartial and transparent trials for all those accused of perpetrating crimes or serious violations of human rights in the course of the revolution against the tyrant al-Qadhafi as well as in the course of his regime over 42 years.
When we talk about the rule of law, we mean that none will be above the law. No amnesty will be granted to any perpetrator of serious crimes other than by general arrangements in the framework of the general strategy of transitional justice and national reconciliation, and with the consent of the victims or their relatives and in a manner that leads to instituting social peace and coming to terms with the past.
I would like to assert to you that Libya views ICC as a necessary and important partner in this stage to achieve justice and to prevent impunity, and to assist in building technical capacity. Libya hopes that all States will cooperate with the Libyan judicial authorities as well as with ICC in conducting investigations and helping bringing the accused to justice and not to provide them with safe haven or to invoke flimsy pretexts to delay their surrender to the Libyan judicial authorities. Delaying the appearance of those perpetrators before courts will deprive Libyan authorities of verifying some claims made in the course of investigations; hence this will impede gathering the facts and the deliverance of justice.
Once again, I would like to state here that many Qadhafi officials accused of perpetrating crimes are still free exercising their daily activities and even their conspiracies against Libya’s security and stability in other States outside Libya. I would like to remind all States that by virtue of paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 2040 (2012) as well as Security Council resolutions, and their commitments by virtue of the Rome statute, they are all duty-bound to closely cooperate with the Libyan authorities to put an end to impunity. I would like to seize this opportunity to affirm that non- response to the calls for surrender, submitted by the Libyan judicial authorities of those accused, by the States that sheltered them will be viewed as impeding justice, unfriendly action and will have negative effect on relations between Libya and those States in the future.
I am well-aware that many are inquiring about the latest incidents that took place in Libya, besieging the ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs as well as the pressures brought to bear on the General National Congress for the issuance of the political isolation legislation. These actions result from the high and unrealistic expectations by youngsters after the end of dictatorship. Such behaviors are inspired by the wish of achieving personal interests. It is natural and expected in such situations, like the one in which Libya is going through, that we witness immature political violations and party quarrels guided by personal ambitions, not necessarily ideological. In the case of Libya, they have been always done reasonably which may delay the State building if repeated and took the shape of a phenomenon, however, this definitely will to undermine the process of democratic transformation.
The interim government is not in a weak position to deal with such excesses. However, it is cognizant of the daunting challenges and it behaves wisely vis-à-vis the difficulties before our fledgling institutions. The government has the firm resolve not to use force against such excessive actions undertaken by some armed groups who suppose to be under the Ministry of Defense. These groups are not well aware of the military discipline due to the lack of proper military training. The government is well-committed to prevent inter-Libyan fighting and it will not use legitimate force except in case of serious violations of the law or in case of the demonstrable threat to the lives of people or harming the property of the State or harming the properties of foreign countries and threatening the lives of their nationals. Despite all this, the government is keen on instituting the rule of law and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It always looks forward to the assistance by the international community as well as the United Nations organs in achieving democratic transformation and the building of a stable and democratic State.
In conclusion, I would like to draw attention to the fact that the transitional phase in Libya is decisive and momentous for the Libyan people. The transitional government faces a number of complex and intertwined challenges which require judicious and patient treatment that takes into consideration all aspects so that it will contribute in improving the security situation and create the necessary conditions for the achievement of justice and the building of the State’s institutions on sound basis that will also lead to galvanizing economy and responding to the ambitions and aspirations of all citizens. There is no doubt that the understanding by this Council as well as the that of International Community and their assistance to the government in capacity building, will considerably contribute to the seamless transitional transformation to real democracy.
Thank you Mr. President.