UK & World News
Libya: Gaddafi's Son Saif Appears In Court
Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi, has appeared in court in Libya accused of breaching national security.
Meanwhile, in a separate case held in private in the capital, Tripoli, prosecutors were expected to outline war crimes allegations against him.
There had been a flurry of rumours that he would be transferred to Tripoli but, in the event, they proved inaccurate.
He appeared in Zintan where he has been held by rebel militias since his capture nearly two years ago.
The authorities in Tripoli have demanded he be handed over to them to stand trial but the Zintan brigade have steadfastly refused.
It seems Saif Gaddafi himself has no desire to go to Tripoli - acutely aware, it seems, of the grave security concerns in the capital.
The Zintan brigades retain bargaining power with the fledgling authorities in Tripoli with the prize treasure of Saif al Islam in their hands.
A microphone was pushed into the cage-like dock during the court case during which he spoke briefly and said he wanted to stay in Zintan. He was smiling and looked well though he has a tooth missing - he has spent two years in solitary confinement.
In Tripoli, prosecutors were due to hold a pre-trial hearing against Saif, and around 36 other Gaddafi loyalists including Abdullah al Senussi, Libya's former intelligence chief.
He is linked to a wave of killings at home and abroad including mass deaths at a Tripoli jail.
He is also thought to have intelligence in relation to the 1984 shooting of the British PC Yvonne Fletcher and the Lockerbie bombing. France has already convicted him in absentia over the destruction of a French airliner over the Sahara in 1989.
Earlier this month, Senussi's daughter Anoud was kidnapped from the custody of the Justice Ministry in Tripoli, underlining the interim government's inability to control its own security forces.
Human Rights groups say the kidnappings put a question mark over Libya's ability to hold a fair trial.
The campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) believe Saif Gaddafi should be handed over to the ICC.
Fred Abrahams, special adviser for HRW, is one of the few people allowed to visit Saif Gaddafi in Zintan.
He said: "It is our view he should be handed over to the ICC now because the judges in the Hague have ordered that.
"The problem is that the government can't do that because they don't have him really under their control.
"He's stuck in Zintan and that group won't hand him over to the central government.
"For Saif and the others, we have huge concerns about a fair trial in Libya. It's not impossible but the problems are huge, especially with security.
"How can the government assure people the judges, lawyers and witnesses are protected, let alone the defendants?"
The national security case against Saif al Islam is due to resume on December 12.
There is no clear idea when a war crimes trial in Tripoli will take place.
The Libyan authorities are refusing to hand Saif over to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes.