Last Updated: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:56 am (KSA) 08:56 am (GMT)

Libya denies extradition of Qaddafi-era spy chief from Mauritania

The International Criminal Court in June 2011 issued a warrant for former Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi, calling him an “indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity.” (Reuters)
The International Criminal Court in June 2011 issued a warrant for former Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi, calling him an “indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity.” (Reuters)

Former Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi, the once feared right hand man of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, has not been extradited to Libya, a government source told Al Arabiya on Thursday.

It was earlier reported that Senussi had landed in Libya after a deal between Mauritania and Libya to have him extradited was agreed on.

Senussi was arrested in March in Mauritania and charged two months later for using forged travel documents to illegally enter the country.

The International Criminal Court in June 2011 issued a warrant for Senussi, calling him an “indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds” in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Benghazi was the birthplace of a revolt that started in February 2011 and eventually put an end to more than four decades of dictatorship in Libya and led to the death of Qaddafi and arrest of several of his allies.

On Wednesday, Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Keib during a visit to Mauritania said he would push for the extradition, the official AMI agency reported.

“We have expressed the desire of Libyans to see this person return to his homeland to be judged fairly, with respect for human dignity,” said the Libyan premier after meeting Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

He vowed Senussi would be treated “in a manner that reflects the new face of Libya, that preserves his rights as a Libyan citizen and as a person.”

The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, had on Tuesday reiterated his administration’s demand for Senussi’s extradition in a phone call to the Mauritanian president.

Senussi is the target of another international arrest warrant after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the downing of a French UTA airliner over Niger in September 1989.

The plane was carrying 170 people from Brazzaville to Paris via N’Djamena.

Libya last month obtained the extradition of Qaddafi’s last prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi from Tunisia, where he had been held since last year.

Mahmoudi’s lawyer and rights groups had voiced concerns that Libya’s ex-rebels had not offered sufficient guarantees that former regime stalwarts would be given a fair trial in Libya.

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