THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The International Criminal Court acknowledged a day after its prosecutor wrongly announced the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi's son that Libyan rebels never confirmed his capture, but insisted he would face justice if caught.
In an embarrassment for the court and rebels, Seif al-Islam defiantly appeared early Tuesday at a Tripoli hotel housing foreign journalists. He boasted that his father's regime still has control in Tripoli and will crush the rebellion.
Early Monday, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters rebels had arrested him but declined to reveal who gave him the news. Court spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said the message was a miscommunication and rebels never officially confirmed the arrest.
"The prosecutor said he had received information about the arrest of Seif al-Islam, which is true, but we did not receive an official confirmation of this information," El Abdallah said.
Still, Moreno-Ocampo said he is committed to helping Libyan rebel authorities bring justice to the country. He did not mention the inaccurate reports in a brief written statement issued by his office on Tuesday.
Moreno-Ocampo said that if Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam and the regime's intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Sanoussi are arrested, "judges of the International Criminal Court will decide on the proper forum to conduct the trials."
Moreno-Ocampo charged the three men in May with ordering pro-Gadhafi forces to stamp out dissent by shooting and shelling civilians as they demonstrated for change and even as they left mosques.
The court issued international arrest warrants for all three men in June, but the court has no police force and is reliant on rebels to detain them.
Rebels have pledged to cooperate with the court, but also have voiced their desire to try Gadhafi in Libya for crimes during his 42 years in power.
The United Nations Security Council called in February for a probe into atrocities against opponents of Gadhafi's regime. Moreno-Ocampo could not have opened an investigation without the U.N. approval because Libya does not recognize the court's jurisdiction and has not ratified its founding treaty. (AP)