A February 26, 2011 file photo shows Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, speaks during an interview with AFP in Tripoli.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) says four of its staffers, who were sent to Libya to meet with Saif al-Islam, son of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi have been arrested.
ICC President Sang-Hyun Song expressed worries about the safety of the four lawyers, urging the Libyan authorities to immediately “liberate them.”
"We are very concerned about the safety of our staff in the absence of any contact with them," the ICC president said in a statement on Saturday.
According to earlier reports, one of the four lawyers, assigned to help defend the legal rights of Gaddafi’s son, is currently under house arrest in the city of Zintan for trying to pass "dangerous" documents to Saif al-Islam.
The Libyan interim government and the international court have been disputing the trial of Saif al-Islam with both planning to prosecute him for alleged war crimes in the own courts.
The new Libyan government wants to bring Gaddafi’s son into trial on the Libyan soil, arguing that it is in possession of sufficient evidence and documents for the indictment of Saif al-Islam.
However, the ICC says it is concerned about the fair trial of Saif al-Islam and that it doubts that the new Libyan government is powerful enough to guarantee his safety.
Saif al-Islam is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the killing of civilian protesters during last year's mass demonstrations against his father’s regime and he remains in the hands of Libyan fighters after his capture last November.
The Libyan authorities have refused to transfer Gaddafi’s son to the international court in the Netherlands, saying they reserve the right to indict him inside Libya.
The ICC charged Saif al-Islam in June with crimes against humanity over the killing of civilian protesters during last year's mass demonstrations against the regime of his father, who was deposed in August 2011 after 42 years of authoritarian rule.