News24

Trial of Gaddafi intel chief adjourned

2012-06-26 16:45

Tripoli - The trial of Bouzid Dorda, the first of Muammar Gaddafi’s senior officials to face trial in Libya, was adjourned on Tuesday after his lawyer requested more time to review his client's case.

The former foreign intelligence chief, whose trial started on 05 June, is accused of ordering security forces to fire live ammunition against demonstrators last year.

He faces five other charges, including detaining people without evidence of any crime and organising members of his tribe into an armed militia with the aim of sparking a civil war.

"We did not complete the review of the case due to the volume of the file," which is more than 500-pages thick, said Daw al-Mansuri, Dorda's lawyer.

"This needs sufficient time in order to put together a serious defence."

The trial was adjourned until 10 July at the defence team's request.

The public proceedings mark the first trial of a senior Libyan official accused of killing demonstrators in the 2011 uprising that ended Gaddafi’s rule.

"There are no obstacles to communicating with the accused," Mansuri told journalists, adding that although he had not met with his client since the last hearing, he speaks regularly with him on the phone.

Dorda, who needs the support of crutches to walk after breaking his hip, made no statements in the court room.

Dorda served as Libya's UN envoy in the late 1990s and replaced Mussa Kussa as head of external intelligence services in 2009 before he was detained in September by forces loyal to the now ruling National Transitional Council (NTC).

The new authorities are keen to show the world they have a functioning judiciary and are capable of conducting fair trials for high profile figures.

They have requested the extradition of former spymaster Abdullah Senussi, who was detained in Mauritania in March.

Ex-prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, who had been held in Tunisia since September 2011, was extradited to Tripoli on Sunday in what marked a diplomatic coup for Libya.

And the NTC hopes to try Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, at home.