Journalists watch as judges question Seif al-Islam, son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, broadcasted live from the western city of Zintan, from inside a room in Tripoli on May 25, 2014
Journalists watch as judges question Seif al-Islam, son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, broadcasted live from the western city of Zintan, from inside a room in Tripoli on May 25, 2014 © Mahmud Turkia - AFP
Journalists watch as judges question Seif al-Islam, son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, broadcasted live from the western city of Zintan, from inside a room in Tripoli on May 25, 2014
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AFP
Last updated: May 25, 2014

Libya puts back trial of Kadhafi regime members

A Tripoli court ordered a fresh delay Sunday in the trial of 40 top figures from late dictator Moamer Kadhafi's regime, including his son Seif al-Islam, as spiralling lawlessness grips Libya.

"The prosecution demanded that the trial be delayed to June 22 to prepare the indictment," defence lawyer Ali Dhabaa told AFP at the end of a two-hour hearing.

The defence had also requested a new delay in the trial and demanded access to the accused, who also include Kadhafi's former spy chief Abdullah Senussi.

They have been charged over their roles in suppressing the 2011 uprising that eventually toppled Kadhafi's regime.

All the defendants are accused of murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity.

Seif, 41, appeared on May 11 by video link in the Tripoli court from Zintan, where he has been held since his capture by rebels in November 2011.

He currently has no lawyer, with the one previously assigned to him absent on Sunday and the court announcing that another lawyer would be appointed.

Eight other defendants, including former internal security chief Mansur Daw, appeared by video link from Libya's third largest city Misrata, where they are being held.

Seif al-Islam is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the NATO-backed uprising.

On May 21, the ICC rejected a final bid by Tripoli's lawyers to try him in Libya, saying it was unable to give him a fair hearing and ordering his transfer to The Hague.

But with Kadhafi's son being held in Zintan, there is no likelihood of that happening any time soon.

Human rights organisations have expressed concerns about the trial, criticising the fact that the accused have only limited access to lawyers and key documents.

Three years after the uprising that killed the former strongman after more than 40 years in power, there is growing unrest in Libya where the political situation remained extremely volatile.

Thousands of demonstrators rallied on Friday in support of renegade ex-general Khalifa Haftar, who has vowed to crush jihadist militants plaguing the North African country, while calling for the formation of an emergency cabinet and legislative elections.

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