Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr today welcomed the release of Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, who has been held in detention in the Libyan town of Zintan since June 7.
“This is the news we’ve been hoping for — a swift end to Melinda Taylor’s detention and the resolution of what has been a protracted diplomatic negotiation,” Senator Carr said.
“Ms Taylor has been released to our Ambassador David Ritchie (at 1am July 3 AEST), and has been escorted to a Libyan military airbase near Tripoli.
“From the airbase, Ms Taylor and Mr Ritchie will board an Italian military aircraft bound for Rome.
“I thank the Libyan authorities — in particular Prime Minister el-Keib and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz, whose personal intervention was instrumental in bringing this matter to a close.
“I also acknowledge the goodwill shown by Zintan authorities in co-ordinating Ms Taylor’s release.
“Ambassador Ritchie has advised that Ms Taylor is in very good spirits, and is looking forward to being reunited with her family.”
The release follows recent talks between Libyan and ICC representatives in The Hague, as proposed by Australia on June 19.
It also follows statements by the United Nations Security Council on June 16 calling for the release of all four ICC staff, as well as extensive representations by Australian and European Governments.
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