Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. File picture: Paul Hackett

New York -

The Libyan government must surrender the son and onetime heir-apparent of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court despite its appeal of the handover and legal proceedings in Libya, the court's prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Fatou Bensouda told the UN Security Council it was “a source of great concern” that Libya did not immediately hand over Seif al-Islam Gaddafi to the ICC as it was required to do following a ruling by pre-trial judges last year that he must be prosecuted at the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for crimes against humanity.

Libya has argued that Seif al-Islam should be prosecuted at home.

Last month he appeared at a trial in the capital, Tripoli, by video link from the city of Zintan, where he has been held by a militia since his capture in November 2011.

Bensouda told the council that “national judicial proceedings can never be an excuse for failure to comply” with an order from the ICC, even if the Libyan government is appealing the tribunal's decision to try Seif al-Islam in The Hague and not at home.

While the ICC is insisting on prosecuting Gaddafi’s son, it gave Libya a green light last October to prosecute former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi for crimes against humanity related to his alleged involvement in the deadly crackdown on opponents of Gaddafi.

Al-Senoussi, who is detained by the government in Tripoli, has appealed the decision to be tried at home and not by the ICC. - Sapa-AP