Zintan-- A team of four people allegedly working for the International Criminal Court (ICC) travels to Zintan city in Libya. The team is allowed by Libyan authorities to meet Seif Gaddafi who is in prison awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. Australian lawyer named Melinda Taylor and her Lebanese interpreter violated the international law as related to such sensitive issue.
Taylor makes a Libyan national security breach and turns out to be a spy for an unknown party. She gets caught red handed, violating the Libyan people’s trust in the ICC and its employees from top down.
According to sources from Zintan, this is the second time that Taylor has visited Seif in prison and it is the second time that they were not comfortable with her behavior both during the visits and before and after those visits. She was simply monitored.
During the first visit which took place sometime in April a security breach occurred by the same Australian lawyer. The prison officials and guards took note. They informed the Libyan Attorney General, the National Transitional Council and the Ministry of Justice of what exactly happened.
On their part the Khalid bin Al-Walid brigade which arrested Seif last year and continued to have direct involvement in the security detail took note of what the Australian lawyer had done and made sure that next time they would again closely monitor her movements.
On Thursday 7 June, Taylor was accompanied by three ICC staff as she arrived in Zintan for a second visit with Seif along with all the needed credentials from the international body which allows her to get access to the war criminal. For the second time the security people allowed her to interview him in their presence.
Then Ms. Taylor wanted to meet the war criminal in private and the officials of Khalid bin Al-Walid brigade objected because there was no available female security at that moment to search her before she is allowed to meet the dangerous prisoner alone.
They hesitated and later approved the request with one condition that is an old man should be allowed to sit at a corner of the meeting room and only to observe things from afar.
The ICC team agreed. What the heck. The old man seemed to be totally out of it and thought they could accomplish the mission without him noticing anything. They had probably used the same technique many times before.
As members of the brigade left the room, Taylor made sarcastic comment about the old man sitting at the corner: “no fear from him. He looks as the chair he’s sitting on.”
Taylor then quickly pulled out a three-page letter from under her clothes and deceptively passed it to the prisoner. She also showed him a message in her mobile and passed to him equipments, tiny cameras and sensors that determine the whereabouts of someone or something. The sensors are of the size of pen’s head.
At this point, the prisoner, Seif Gaddafi, took out a letter written in English and another blank paper signed by him and passed them to Taylor.
As this hash hash exchange ended, the old man spoke to them in English and called on the security to intervene. Taylor and the others were struck that the ‘chair’ old man, who turned to be the college instructor sheikh Ahmed Omar al-Zintani, knew English, French and Italian.
When pressed to answer questions, Taylor denied any wrong doing. A female police officer was called in to search the Australian lawyer and her Lebanese interpreter, Helen Assaf, and the secret letters were found on her body.
They had also found a camera on Assaf who is being accused of having falsely portrayed herself as a nurse and of having carried a camera with her into the meeting.
One of the letters came from Mohammed Ismail, the former intelligence officer with Gaddafi regime and the right-hand man to Seif who is now on the run.
Ismail is the same Gaddafi’s intelligence officer who planned to assassinate King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia a few years ago. He spent a number of years in a Saudi prison and later was pardoned by the Saudi king in a brokered deal with the dead brutal dictator.
In the unsigned letter from Seif to the ICC he claimed "there is no government or law in Libya" and that he was being "ill-treated", he said.
The team was arrested as a result of the new development on Thursday but Ahmed Jehani, Libya's envoy to the international tribunal, says only two members of the team, Taylor and her Lebanese interpreter, Helen Assaf, are in detention.
He says two men, a Russian and a Spanish national, stayed behind of their own accord.
"Melinda was arrested because she was surprised exchanging papers with the accused Seif al-Islam," Jehani said, adding that her Lebanese interpreter was being held as an "accomplice".
"She (Melinda Taylor) had a pen camera and a letter from one of the men most wanted by the Libyan judiciary," Mohammed Ismail, he added on Sunday.
Jehani said he had seen the letter, which consisted of "drawings" and "symbols", a "code" that cannot be understood except by the person who sent it and the intended recipient, Seif.
"She is under investigation because she committed a crime. According to Libyan law, it would be spying and communication with the enemy."
ICC president Judge Sang-Hyun Song said in the tribunal's statement from The Hague: "We are very concerned about the safety of our staff in the absence of any contact with them.
"These four international civil servants have immunity when on an official ICC mission.
Although the ICC delegation's visit was authorised by Libya's chief prosecutor, the complaint was that Taylor had tried to deliver the documents without first declaring them.
But Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz, the Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister for International Affairs, announced that his government would ask the ICC to waive the lawyer's immunities so that formal investigations could begin.
"I think the woman will be with us for a while until the waiver is granted by the International Criminal Court so we can formally start the investigations," Abdulaziz told AFP.
The delegation should have formally declared the documents, he said.
"It is an act that is jeopardising the national security of Libya and we are taking it very seriously," he added.