The ICC has raised concerns about whether Libya is ready to conduct its own trials, particularly in terms of legal representation for suspects, but the court has not indicated which way it will rule.
Libya remains adamant that it is capable of carrying out trials.
In its latest submission to the ICC at the beginning of March, the government repeated that there had been “fundamental change” since the United Nations Security Council referred the country to the Hague court at the beginning of 2011.
The document states that the judiciary and police force have received external training and support, that the election in 2012 was widely regarded as democratic, and that Justice Minister Marghani is a champion of human rights.
To counter those arguments, critics point out that Saif al-Islam has remained in jail in the northwestern city of Zintan for nearly 18 months without trial. Nor is it clear what the authorities are accusing him of.
The ICC alleges that he was indirectly responsible for murder and persecution, which count as crimes against humanity as laid out under the court’s founding Rome Statute.
Lawyers acting for the Libyan authorities maintain that the national proceedings against Saif al-Islam cover the same matters as the ICC case.
“[Libya] has done its utmost, in extremely difficult circumstances, to produce evidence of its ongoing national proceedings in respect of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi which cover the same conduct that forms the subject of the ICC proceedings against him,” they said in the March submission to the ICC.
However, other legal sources in the country claim that the charges brought against Saif al-Islam relate to allegations that he traded sensitive information with ICC lawyers when they visited him last year, and not to any human rights abuses.