Egypt extradites two Qaddafi-era officials to Libya

Published: Updated:

Egyptian authorities extradited two Libyan officials from the regime of deposed dictator Moammar Qaddafi back to their home country on Tuesday, an airport official says. It is Egypt’s first high-profile extradition in years.

The official says the two, 71-year-old former ambassador to Cairo Ali Maria and another ex-official, 44-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim Qaddafi, were handcuffed after resisting the transfer.

“They were yelling, ‘No!’ while they were taken from the vehicle to the plane,” the official says.

The two were arrested a week ago along with top Qaddafi aide and Cousin Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam who surrendered to police after hours-long siege laid at his house in Cairo. Al-Dam was also a high ranking intelligence official and for decades was the coordinator between Qaddafi and Egyptian leadership. He remains in detention in Egypt.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Since Qaddafi was ousted and killed in 2011, Libya has demanded that Egypt handover dozens of officials from the former regime over various charges including corruption and suspected involvement in the country’s civil war.

On Thursday, a Libyan intelligence delegation visited Cairo and handed Egypt another list of 88 names. An earlier list comprised 40 names.

Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak, who like Qaddafi was ousted in a 2011 Arab Spring uprising, had close ties to the Libyan dictator. Human rights groups said Cairo allowed Libyan intelligence to kidnap members of the anti-Qaddafi opposition, notably dissident Mansour Kikhia, who disappeared in 1993. His remains were found in a house in Tripoli in September.

However, Egypt has been traditionally reluctant to hand over exiled politicians or officials from ousted regimes. Egypt offered refuge to Libya’s deposed king Idris after Qaddafi’s 1969 bloodless coup and also hosted Iran’s former shah after the 1979 Islamic revolution there.