The International Criminal Court's (ICC) pre-trial chamber has rejected Libya's request to try Saif al-Islam, the son of the country's late leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Saif al-Islam, who is being held by authorities in the mountain city of Zintan, has been indicted by the ICC for alleged war crimes committed during the revolution that toppled his father.
Libyan authorities had argued that since they were already investigating Saif al-Islam's alleged crimes against humanity with a view to prosecuting him, the ICC had no jurisdiction under the principle that the court only intervenes where local legal systems are not up to the job.
However, the ICC judges said Libya, which can appeal the ruling, had not shown that it was investigating the same case as the court.
Few analysts expect Tripoli to surrender Saif al-Islam, particularly with the writ of central government weak in Zintan.
Reflecting the situation, the ICC judges said Libya continued to "face substantial difficulties in exercising fully its judicial powers across the entire territory".