Foreign Minister Bob Carr today proposed a solution to the stalemate between the Libyan Government and the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the detention of Australian lawyer, Melinda Taylor and her three ICC colleagues.
Senator Carr is in Algeria after a six hour visit to Libya yesterday in which he met Prime Minister El-Keib and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz, ambassadors of other countries and the ICC team in Tripoli.
After the meetings, Senator Carr said the stalemate could be resolved by:
- early completion of the investigation by the judicial prosecutor who has completed interviews with all four ICC detainees in Zintan in the presence of the ICC's legal counsel
- the Libyan Government allowing visits by ambassadors to those detained, full consular access and phone contact for the detainees with their families
- the release of the four detainees
- Australia facilitating discussions between the Libyan Government and the ICC to ensure Libyan concerns and perspectives are heard in respect of the criminal proceedings against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi
- the ICC issuing a statement which addresses the concerns of Libyan authorities and extends an apology for inadequate consultation on protocol and procedures.
Senator Carr expressed appreciation to Prime Minister El-Keib for seeing him on short notice and taking Australian concerns seriously.
"The Prime Minister undertook to talk to his Attorney General and the prosecutor so that detainees could make phone calls to their families, meet their ambassadors and receive full consular access," Senator Carr said.
In a later meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz told Senator Carr the investigation was complete and the government would respond to the United Nations Security Council's statement on the matter as soon as possible. He said the Attorney General would meet representatives of the ICC.
The Deputy Foreign Minister repeated the Prime Minister's assurance that authorities in Zintan would be asked to grant fair contact between the detainees and their families.
The Deputy Foreign Minister spelled out Libyan concerns about forces outside Libya's border that were well funded and armed and represented a threat to Libyan national security.
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