NTC Says Zintan Officials Refusing to Transfer Seif al-Islamإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Libyan authorities have met resistance in talks for the handover of Seif al-Islam, the son of slain leader Moammar Gadhafi, who is still being held in Zintan, a negotiator told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.
Zintan officials told representatives of the ruling National Transitional Council that people in the town "want Seif to be tried locally because the (interim) government is weak," an NTC member said on condition of anonymity.
They consider the "interim government incapable of conducting a secure trial for Seif al-Islam" and unable to prevent him from fleeing Libya in the same way that other members of the regime have, he added.
The NTC member was part of a delegation that went to Zintan, 180 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of Tripoli, on Monday to meet with city officials and former rebels who are holding Seif in an undisclosed location.
Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil attended a second round of talks on the issue held in Tripoli on Tuesday, according to the same source.
Abdel Jalil stressed that "it is necessary for Seif al-Islam to be transferred to Tripoli" in order to "relieve the pressure" exercised by the International Criminal Court on the Libyan authorities, he continued.
The NTC also highlighted that it would be "difficult" for the international community to accept a "trial controlled by revolutionaries," or former rebels who fought against Gadhafi’s forces in 2011.
Zintan officials requested "time to think about it and consult with residents before answering," the same source added.
Libya's representative to the ICC, Ahmed al-Jehani, had announced on April 7 that Seif would be transferred to Tripoli "before the end of the week," but that deadline has passed.
Seif, who was arrested on November 19 in southern Libya, is being held in a secret detention center in Zintan, where he has allegedly been mistreated by his wardens.
The ICC wants to bring Seif to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity for his role in battling the uprising against his father last year, but Libya's new government wants to try him at home.