Libya ex-PM seeks political refugee status

2011-11-11 18:34

Tunis -  Libya's former prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has applied for UN political refugee status to try to prevent his extradition from Tunisia, one of his lawyers said Friday.

"If the HCR [the UN high commissioner for refugees] grants Mr Mahmoudi refugee status it will no longer be possible to extradite him," said the lawyer, Taufik Wanas.

A Tunisian appeals court this week gave the nod for Mahmoudi's extradition to Libya although rights groups have expressed concern for his safety if he is sent back.

"I am hopeful that the Tunisian people will not extradite a refugee," said Mahmoudi, who appeared at a separate Tunis court on Friday in connection with a fresh extradition request submitted by the authorities in Tripoli.

This tribunal in the appeals court postponed any ruling on the new Libyan demand until November 26, the clerk of the court said. It also rejected requests for Mahmoudi's release made by his team of lawyers.

"This is a shame because Mr Mahmoudi could have remained at the disposal of the Tunisian judiciary without being in prison," Wanas said.

His lawyers also said they would seek help with Mahmoudi's case from the Geneva-based UN committee against torture.

Mahmoudi, 70, was prime minister until the final days of the regime of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who was shot dead after his capture by National Transitional Council fighters last month.

Mahmoudi was arrested on September 21 on Tunisia's southwestern border with Algeria and jailed for illegal entry. He is being held in a prison near Tunis and failed on Wednesday in a court bid to secure his release.

Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Thursday pledged to ensure Mahmoudi's security if he is returned.

"First of all we will ensure a secure place for him, then we will guarantee a fair trial, despite the acts he has perpetrated against the Libyan people," Abdel Jalil, chairperson of Libya's National Transitional Council, told AFP.

The new extradition request against Mahmudi concerns charges of inciting rape in the town of Zuwarah in northwest Libya, according to another of his lawyers, Mabrouk Kourchid.

Kourchid also said he had formally asked Tunisia's interim president Fouad Mebazaa not to sign and validate the extradition agreed to on Tuesday.

Amnesty International last week urged Tunisia not to extradite Mahmoudi, saying he risked being subject to "serious human rights violations".

Kourchid has said that his client fears for his life as the sole holder of Libyan state secrets since the death of Gaddafi.

During the extradition hearing this week, dozens of Libyans rallied outside the building demanding the man they called the "third tyrant of Libya" - after Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam - be sent back to face justice.

Tunisia in August recognised the NTC as Libya's new authority and has committed itself to cooperation on security issues.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  un  |  ntc  |  mustafa abdel jalil  |  saif al-islam gaddafi  |  muammar gaddafi  |  tunisia  |  libya  |  north africa  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Kuils River - 18:48 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Tuesday Muizenberg - 10:59 AM
    Road name: Main Road Both Ways
    ROADWORKS with stop/go controls at Atlantic Road - expect peak time delays (until July 2015)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1799.99

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.