Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor is expected to be released from a Libyan jail today at 8pm or 9pm AEST, according to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr.
Ms Taylor, a lawyer with the International Criminal Court, has been detained in the city of Zintan since June 7 with three colleagues, following allegations they threatened Libya’s national security.
Senator Carr welcomed the news that Ms Taylor’s release was imminent, but said he would “breathe easy” when Ms Taylor was officially on her way home.
“We’re very, very happy for her and for her family but we’ll delay the celebration until she’s actually homeward bound,” he told Fairfax Radio from New York.
ICC spokesman Fadi el-Abdallah told Agence France-Presse yesterday that ICC president Song Sang-hyun was travelling to Libya for the group’s release.
“The ICC president is going to Libya tomorrow and the release of the four ICC staff members is expected tomorrow,” Mr Abdallah said.
This morning, Mr Abdallah told ABC radio that it was “difficult to say” when the ICC group would leave Libya, but repeated they should be out of custody today.
The ICC spokesman said discussions between Libyan authorities and the ICC delegation had cleared up “misunderstandings”.
“And we understood that they have conducted three investigations and gathered some factual elements that under Libyan laws might be some serious issues,” Mr Abdallah said.
He added there were no official charges against any of the ICC staff members.
Mr Abdallah said the ICC would also conduct its own investigation when Ms Taylor and her colleagues had been returned.
Last week, after a visit by Australia’s ambassador-designate to Libya, David Ritchie, Ms Taylor was allowed to speak to her husband and two-year-old daughter for the first time since her detention.
The news has not always been positive for Ms Taylor since she was detained earlier this month.
At times, Senator Carr has been hopeful of an early release for the Australian lawyer, but earlier this month the Guardian newspaper reported that Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib has said Ms Taylor was guilty of actions that “compromised national security” and would not be released from detention.
Ms Taylor is accused of exchanging papers with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, whom she is representing. The papers allegedly included a coded message from his former right-hand man in the days of his father’s regime, Mohamed Ismail.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.