'No Libyan response' on Gaddafi son as deadline nears

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is pictured sitting in a plane in Zintan November 19, 2011
Image caption Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was captured in southern Libya in November

A deadline has nearly elapsed for Libya to give the International Criminal Court information about the health and status of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The former Libyan leader's son was captured in southern Libya in November.

The ICC, based in The Hague, has indicted him for crimes against humanity but Libya's new leaders say they want him to stand trial in Libya.

The ICC could refer Libya to the UN Security Council if it does not respond to its request on Tuesday.

The ICC has accepted that Saif al-Islam will be tried in Libya but wants assurances that the country's justice system can produce a fair trial.

In a visit to Libya in November, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo said: "The standard of the ICC is that it has to be a judicial process that is not organised to shield the suspect… and I respect that it's important for the cases to be tried in Libya… and I am not competing for the case."

Saif al-Islam, Colonel Gaddafi's most prominent son, is being held in the western town of Zintan. He was arrested while trying to flee the country.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told a representative of Human Rights Watch last month that he was being treated well, but had not seen a lawyer or the detailed charges against him.

Fred Abrahams of Human Rights Watch told the BBC that he had the impression from their meeting that Saif al-Islam "doesn't fully understand that he is no longer one of the most powerful people in the country".

The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse, who is in Tripoli, says the case of the former leader's son charged with war crimes is becoming an unlikely cause for human rights campaigners.

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