Libya ex-spy chief - extradite or die

2013-01-10 22:12

Amsterdam - Libyan former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi faces execution if he is not extradited by Libyan authorities to The Hague to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), his lawyers warned on Thursday.

Senussi is wanted by the ICC on suspicion of orchestrating brutal reprisals during the 2011 uprising that led to the fall and death of Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled the North African country with an iron fist for four decades.

Senussi, one of Gaddafi's most loyal lieutenants, and Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, who is also wanted by the ICC, are both in prison in Libya while the Hague court and the Libyan government wrangle over who has the right to try them.

In a letter sent to the president of the UN Security Council, Senussi's lawyers said steps to put him on trial in Libya would put the country in breach of its obligations to the ICC and to the Security Council, which referred events surrounding the Libyan uprising to The Hague.

They said Libya had deliberately ignored the ICC's arrest warrant and paid about $200m for Senussi to be returned last year from Mauritania, where he had fled after the uprising.

An announcement by Libya's chief prosecutor that Senussi's trial would start in February showed authorities were not taking their obligations to the ICC seriously, the lawyers said.

ICC judges have ordered Libya to confirm whether the trial would indeed start in February.

Highest-profile suspects

"The likely to result in irreparable harm through the imposition and execution of the death penalty," wrote Ben Emmerson, Senussi's lawyer, in the letter to the president of the Security Council.

Senussi and Saif al-Islam are among the highest-profile suspects the 10-year-old international war crimes court has charged, but their cases have come to be seen as a test of the credibility of a court that depends on the co-operation of national governments to get hold of its suspects.

Tripoli has asked ICC judges to rule that the pair can get a fair trial in Libyan courts. Libya is obliged to bow to ICC authority but the ICC has no way of forcing it to comply.

Senussi's lawyers also asked the ICC to refer Libya to the Security Council for non-compliance and order the Tripoli government to extradite Senussi to The Hague within five days.

The limits to the court's authority in Libya were dramatically illustrated last year when Melinda Taylor, Saif al-Islam's court-appointed lawyer, was arrested and detained for almost a month when she tried to visit her client.

Authorities in Zintan, the largely autonomous western mountain province where Saif al-Islam is detained, accused the Australian citizen of spying. She has denied the charges.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-11 05:56

    . Off course he should be send to the ICC , to get a fair trial !!! The ironi is that his former boss, that gaddafi monster , was the one who destroyed the independence of the judiciary. ( Without gaddafi, like any dictator, doing soo, he would NEVER have lasted 30 years as Libya's 'leader')

      Wallace Outkast - 2013-01-11 13:09

      anthony, gaddafy is a monster today cause the west told u so, earlier he was their best friend dont u fund it weird?...he helped your bitch ass to be free during apartheid!!did they told u that too?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 03:41

      . Is this the same West where this gaddafi whore was sleeping with anyone who was willing to pay him ?? Is this the same West, where gaddafi's corrupt violent rubbish sons, spend their billions, they stole from the Libyan popoulation. It was not Moscow, Theran or Caracas, where these scumbags spent their stolen loot, but New York, London and Paris !!! Is this the same Libya we are talking about , where there were tens of thousands of Libyans in jail, whose only 'crime' was, that they opposed this gaddafi monster!!! This same Libya , where after their liberation, they found mass graves, of thousands of gaddafi opponents And please don't insult Mandela and others in the ANC, with some cheap BS, of all those who helped them get rid of the Nats. gaddafi was a dictator / tyrant / thief / whore / war criminal / mass murderer / etc / etc / etc Nobody has to tell me this, one only needs one grain of brain for that !!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 19:36

      . Yes, for the 5 % of radicals in Africa, sure!! But for the MAJORITY of Africans, few did soo much damage to Africa as this violent fruitcake. And watching developments in Libya, including elections, it does not seem many Libyans ' miss the good old days !!!!!!'

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