Last Updated: 2012-07-03
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TRIPOLI, July 3 (NNN-XINHUA) -- Four staff members belonging to an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation who were detained in Libya early last month have been freed, according to the official Libyan News Agency.

The report Monday quoted battalion commander Abu Bakr Al-Ajmi from the military authorities in Zintan in western Libya as saying this.

The Hague-based ICC sent a mission in early June to meet a son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi -- Saif al-Islam -- in Zintan, where he had been held since being captured in November last year.

The mission's task was to enable the Office of the General Council of Defence, a defence team to represent Saif al-Islam. However, the ICC said the members of the delegation were confirmed detained a couple of days after their arrival in Zintan.

Both the ICC and the United Nations urged the Libyan authorities to immediately release the detained members.

However, according to the Libyan representative to the ICC, Ahmed Jehani, the ICC's Australian lawyer, Melinda Taylor, was trying to hand over Saif al-Islam some documents which "constitute a threat to the security of Libya".

In June 2011, the ICC issued warrants against then Libyan leader Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam, as well as ex- intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi, on charges of crimes against humanity in cracking down on protests.

Libya has been persuading the ICC that it is entitled to and has the ability to try the figures from its former regime, including Saif al-Islam and Al-Senussi. -- NNN-XINHUA