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Gadhafi's son appears in Libyan court for first time

Jan. 17, 2013 5:02 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 3:08 P.M.)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) -- Muammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam appeared in a court on Thursday for the first time since his capture more than a year ago, Libya's public prosecutor's office said.

The son of the former Libyan leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court but his appearance in a criminal court in the western town of Zintan was not part of a war crimes trial.

Thursday's court hearing was related to a meeting Saif al-Islam's had with his ICC-appointed lawyer last June. The lawyer, Australian Melinda Taylor, was herself arrested and held for three weeks after that, accused of handing her client documents that could endanger national security.

"He is charged with involvement with the ICC delegation which is accused of carrying papers and other things related to the security of the Libyan state," Taha Baara, spokesman for the prosecutor, told Reuters.

"Investigations for trying him for war crimes are over and he will be put on trial for that at a later time," Baara told Reuters.

Libya has resisted the ICC's request to extradite Saif al-Islam for trial in The Hague, saying it wants to prosecute him at home, where he could face the death penalty.
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