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The Trial Of Gadhafi
- Who Killed Gadhafi--MSNBC
Disturbing images of a blood-stained and shaken Moammar Gadhafi being jostled by angry fighters quickly circulated around the world after the Libyan dictator's dramatic death near his home town of Sirte.
A Test For A Nation?
When the popular uprisings of the 'Arab Spring' began in Tunisia, there were a few authoritian states that I thought were safe. Libya was one of them.
As that country's uprisng grew into an insurgency, and reached the point of civil war, the possibility of the fall of Gadhafi seemed first impossible, and then inevitable. When Tripoli fell, Gadhafi went from despot to fugitive. His death left the newly-liberated country without an opportunity.
Putting him on trial for his crimes against his people would have been a test. The country, for decades a hermit kingdom, would have needed to impanel a judiciary. Now the trial would likely have been conducted under Islamic laws, but it would have shown that the country had moved past tribal or mob justice.
I'll admit there are several countries that are likely glad Gadhafi will never have his day in court. The dealings between China, France, Russia, and Venezula and Libya would have embarrassed those nations and cost them standing in the world.
Another option, if the transitional government did not feel they could conduct a trial, would have been to hand Gadhafi over to the ICC to answer crimes against humanity. This would have been an opportunity for that body to show some strength.
I'm sure there will be other opportunities for the new state to bring members of the old regime to justice, but to see a strongman like Gadhafi answering for his actions would have been a show of a nation's growth and a message to other authoritarians.