ELIZABETH JACKSON: Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor has
spoken publicly for the first time since being freed from detention in
Ms Taylor was held for more than three weeks after she
visited her client, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who's been indicted for
crimes against humanity.
She was accused of spying.
Ms Taylor and three colleagues from the International Criminal Court were released earlier this week.
at a press conference in the Hague, Ms Taylor said Libyan authorities
never gave her proper legal justification for her detention.
She said they've prejudiced the rights of her client, and she argues that he won't get a fair trial in Libya.
David Weber reports.
DAVID WEBER: Melinda Taylor said she was never given an order concerning the legal basis for her arrest and detention.
She said communication with the outside world was kept to a minimum.
TAYLOR: Prosecutor general initially indicated to us that we would not
be entitled to have any communications with our family or our consular
It appears that through the diplomatic
initiatives of the ICC and our consular representatives we were
eventually entitled to receive a monitored consular visit and one five
minute conversation with our families.
DAVID WEBER: The ICC has committed to investigating the allegations made by Libyan authorities about Melinda Taylor.
It's been claimed she was spying and breaching national security by carrying coded documents to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
TAYLOR: I explicitly informed the Libyan authorities that if they had
any concerns regarding my misconduct that they had the right to file a
complaint in accordance with the procedures set out in the ICC Code of
Conduct for Counsel but that I had full immunity from arrest, detention,
or any other investigative action taken against me and measures taken
by the Libyans in that regard would violate international law.
DAVID WEBER: Melinda Taylor said she believed her actions were consistent with her legal obligations.
She said the rights of her client were prejudiced.
TAYLOR: Amongst other things, the Libyan authorities deliberately
misled the defence concerning whether the visit with Mr Gaddafi would be
monitored. They also seized documents which were covered by legal
professional privilege and ICC protective orders.
It is the
position of the defence that these recent events have completely
underscored that it would be impossible for Mr Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to
be tried in an independent and impartial manner in Libyan courts.
WEBER: Ms Taylor did say the Zintan brigade responsible for
implementing the detention treated her and her colleagues with respect
and dignity, and they remained attentive to their requirements.
But Ms Taylor said she remained concerned for her own safety, as well as that of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
TAYLOR: I hope you can all understand that in light of what has
happened, the defence has serious concerns for its ongoing security.
It's for this reason that I will not discuss specific details of the
events or respond to media questions until the ICC has been able to
conduct a proper risk assessment and I am in a better position to
ascertain the implications for my client, who continues to be detained
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Melinda Taylor ending that report from David Weber.