Foreign Minister Bob Carr
Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Taylor reunited with family

AUSTRALIAN lawyer Melinda Taylor has been reunited with her husband and two-year-old daughter after being released by Libyan authorities.

The Queenslander was one of four International Criminal Court officials detained on June 7 in the Libyan town of Zintan following a meeting with Seif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of deceased dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Ms Taylor was released along with her colleagues about 1am (AEST) on Tuesday before boarding an Italian military plane bound for Rome.

From there they were flown to The Hague, where Ms Taylor saw her husband Geoff and daughter Yasmina for the first time in almost a month.

The release follows recent talks between Libyan and ICC representatives in The Hague.

ICC president, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, welcomed Libya's decision to release the ICC delegation.

"The ICC is grateful to the Libyan authorities for their agreement today to release the court's staff members so that they can be reunited with their families," Mr Song said during a press conference organised in Zintan by the Libyan authorities.

Mr Song also thanked the Zintan authorities for their co-operation and expressed his relief the ICC staff members were well treated during their detention.

The ICC confirmed it would investigate the matter, including a review of information supplied by Libyan authorities.

Libya conducted an investigation of the ICC's meeting with Mr Gaddafi, the details of which were presented to the court on June 22.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who played a pivotal role in securing Ms Taylor's release, admitted to feeling "enormous relief" upon learning of Ms Taylor's release.

"This is the news we've been hoping for - a swift end to Melinda Taylor's detention and the resolution of what has been a protracted diplomatic negotiation," Senator Carr said from New York.

He said while "everyone makes mistakes", it was important the ICC learnt from the ordeal.

"It might have been safer for Melinda if the court had nailed down some detailed protocols and procedures, especially given the sensitivity of the Gaddafi name in post-revolutionary Libya, before they sent their team in," he said. "But that's something for them to reflect on."

Ms Taylor's Brisbane-based parents praised Senator Carr for his role in securing their daughter's release.



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