THE HAGUE, Netherlands – International Criminal Court judges said Friday that Libya doesn't have to hand over Muammar Qaddafi's son, pending a ruling on Tripoli's challenge to the court's right to try him.
The ruling ends months of pressure on Libyan authorities to surrender Seif al-Islam Qaddafi, who is wanted by the court on charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed early in his father's crackdown on dissent last year.
He was arrested in November in Libya's remote south, and is being held by a militia which refuses to surrender him to Libya's new rulers.
Libyan authorities say they want to put Seif al-Islam on trial in Libya. The ICC is a tribunal of last resort, intended to try suspects from countries that cannot or will not prosecute them.
The U.N. Security Council ordered the court to launch an investigation in Libya in February 2011.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo indicted Seif al-Islam along with his father and Qaddafi's intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, who was arrested in March in Mauritainia and is still being held there. The case against Muammar Qaddafi was dropped after he was captured and killed by rebels.