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Kaifala '13 Says Libya Should Bring Former Leaders to Justice

May 8, 2012

Vermont Law School student Joseph Kaifala '13 recently wrote a commentary titled "Libya - Not the International Court - Should Bring Former Leaders to Justice" in PolicyMic.Image of Kaifala

"The International Criminal Court (ICC) has charged three Libyans - Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, former honorary chairman of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, acting as de facto Prime Minister of Libya; Abdullah Al-Senussi, colonel in the Libyan Armed Forces and former head of the military intelligence; and the late Muammar Gaddafi, who served as head of state," Kaifala wrote. "The three were indicted for crimes against humanity committed during the Libyan Revolution in 2011.... Since the end of the revolution, the ICC has been trying to get the Libyan government to surrender the accused to the Court at The Hague, but the Libyan government has consistently refused to extradite....

"The Libyan government has emphasized its willingness to bring the accused to justice under national jurisdiction. The ICC should withdraw its warrants and let the Libyan criminal system render justice for the Libyan people. We cannot judge the alleged inadequacy of the Libyan justice system if we do not allow it to operate. The accused are charged with crimes committed against the Libyan people and they must be held accountable to Libyans where their government has expressed commitment to justice and national reconciliation."

Kaifala is executive director of the Jeneba Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving education for children in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. He was born in Sierra Leone and spent his early childhood in Liberia and Guinea. He speaks six languages and holds a master's degree in international relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

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