Foreign Minister Bob Carr says recent talks between the Libyan government and the International Criminal Court (ICC) over its detained lawyers, including Australian Melinda Taylor, have been “very productive”.
Senator Carr said the ICC released a statement following the discussions in the Hague where the court indicated it would investigate the behaviour of its four-member team in Libya. The team has been detained in the city of Zintan since a visit to Seif al Islam, a son of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
“It (the statement) had the ICC expressing regret, effectively an apology for any misunderstandings that may have occurred,” the foreign minister told ABC TV.
The lawyers were detained after Ms Taylor was allegedly found carrying documents for Seif that were judged a threat to national security.
“When the ICC has completed its investigation the court will ensure that anyone found responsible for any misconduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions,” The Hague-based court said in a statement on Friday.
Senator Carr said there was a gap between how the ICC viewed its role in Zintan with Seif al Islam and the perception of the Libyans.
“My view is that Melinda Taylor doing her job with three colleagues would have been better protected if there had been an agreement between the Libyan authorities and the ICC around protocols and procedures that governs the ICC’s personnel involvement in the case,” he said.
Senator Carr said the Libyan government would need some time to work the issue through their political system.
“That makes more anxious waiting for John and Janelle, Melinda’s parents in Brisbane, and her husband Geoff in the Hague,” he said.
The Australian government would continue to press the Libyan authorities to move faster in allowing Ms Taylor to call her family, the foreign minister said on Sunday.