News / Africa

Libya's NTC Unveils New Government

Video image made available Nov. 22, 2011 shows Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam examining his injured hand shortly after his capture on November 19, 2011, at a safe house in the town of Zintan
Video image made available Nov. 22, 2011 shows Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam examining his injured hand shortly after his capture on November 19, 2011, at a safe house in the town of Zintan
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Libya's National Transitional Council has unveiled a new Cabinet that will govern the country until it holds its first elections since the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.

Interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib told a news conference in Tripoli late Tuesday that "all of Libya is represented in the new line-up."  It includes several relatively unknown figures, including Osama al-Juwali as defense minister.  Juwali is the commander of the forces from the town of Zintan who captured the former dictator's fugitive son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi.

Libya's deputy envoy to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, was expected to head the Foreign Ministry, but the post was ultimately given to a little-known diplomat, Ashour Bin Hayal.

Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said Tuesday Seif al-Islam may be tried in Libya rather than in The Hague, as long as the trial meets ICC standards.  He made the announcement during meetings with Libyan officials in Tripoli.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (C) visits Tripoli November 22, 2011
International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (C) visits Tripoli November 22, 2011

The ICC has indicted Seif al-Islam, and former intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senoussi, for crimes against humanity.  Libyan transitional fighters recently captured the men in separate raids in the country's southern desert.

International rights groups say the two men will not get fair trials in Libya.  The country lacks an established judicial system after 42 years of rule by Gadhafi, who deliberately kept state institutions weak.

The United Nations Security Council has authorized the ICC to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya, but the tribunal can only prosecute alleged perpetrators if a country itself is unwilling or unable to do so.

U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland has called on Libyan authorities to deal with all prisoners humanely.

"We have in general terms and now in very specific terms with regard to Seif appealed to all parties in Libya to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners in their custody and to ensure that independent monitors have access to him and to prepare a judicial process that meets international standards," she said.

Moammar Gadhafi was killed in October as transitional forces took control of his hometown of Sirte.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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