MOSCOW, July 3 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow welcomes the Libyan decision to free employees of the International Criminal Court and hopes that further procedures will strictly comply with international laws, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“A delegation of the International Criminal Court, including Russian citizen, former career diplomat Alexander Khodakov, was freed in the Libyan city of Zintan on July 2. Heads of the diplomatic missions of Russia, Spain, Lebanon, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands and International Criminal Court Chairman Song Sang-Hyun were invited to Zintan and informed about the decision,” the ministry said.
“Libyan representatives said that the decision to free four employees of the International Criminal Court was a goodwill gesture, confirming the adherence of new Libya to international norms and laws. It was noted that a court hearing had been scheduled for July 23 to make a final ruling in the absence of the accused,” it said.
The released court employees were transferred to the heads of national diplomatic missions. They left for Rome on July 2 together with the court chairman. “The Russian Embassy in Libya took direct and active part in the efforts of the International Criminal Code and the diplomatic corps in Libya towards the soonest release of the detainees,” the ministry said.
“Moscow welcomes the decision of Libyan authorities to release employees of the International Criminal Court. Hopefully, further procedures taken by the Libyan side with regard to the members of the International Criminal Court delegation will strictly abide by international laws, including UN Security Council resolution 1970,” the ministry said.
The court delegation was detained while visit the imprisoned son of ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on June 7. They were accused of trying to harm Libyan national security allegedly with a ciphered letter, which a delegation member, an Australian lawyer, tried to give the Gaddafi son.
Khodakov was the Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1998-2003.