Libya's government spokesman, Nasser al-Manaa
A Libyan official said on Wednesday that the detention of four International Criminal Court envoys was "a matter of national security" to be weighed by local judges, reports AFP.
"It is a matter of national security," government spokesman, Nasser al-Manaa told journalists in Tripoli.
"Libya will not tolerate threats to national security ... We expect the International Criminal Court to understand," he said, noting that his country was not a signatory to the Rome Statute which established the ICC.
Australian lawyer, Melinda Taylor and three of her colleagues were detained last week after a meeting with Seif al-Islam, the son of slain dictator, Moamer Gaddafi, who is detained in the western town of Zintan.
Their mission was to help the detained Seif, 39, choose a defence lawyer. The Hague-based ICC wants to try him for crimes against humanity.
Libyan officials allege Taylor was carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif a coded letter from his former right-hand man Mohammed Ismail, who is on the run.
Manaa said the ICC delegation "overstepped its mandate and committed an act which had nothing to do with its mission, exchanging documents that represent a threat to national security."
The case was now in the hands of local judges. "Libyan judges will be the ones who will decide, not the government," he said.
On Tuesday, a new ICC delegation to Libya visited their colleagues in Zintan who face 45 days of preventive detention to conduct investigations, according to the attorney general.