News

Libya Presses For Extradition of Former Intelligence Chief

Abdullah Al-Senussi, former head of the Libyan Intelligence Service in Tripoli, (FILE August 21, 2011).
Abdullah Al-Senussi, former head of the Libyan Intelligence Service in Tripoli, (FILE August 21, 2011).
Anne Look

Libya's deputy prime minister is meeting with authorities in Mauritania to urge them hand over Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, who has been in custody there since last week.  Libya is likely to face a diplomatic tug of war with France and the International Criminal Court over custody of the fugitive Libyan leader.

Mauritanian authorities arrested Abdullah al-Senussi late Friday as he tried to enter the country on a flight from Morocco using a fake Malian passport.

Arriving Monday in Nouakchott, Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour says they have come to visit their brothers in Mauritania with whom they share many common interests.  Shagour says they are determined to leave with al-Senussi.  He says al-Senussi has committed crimes against Libya and its people and he must return there to be judged.

Interpol issued an international warrant for al-Senussi on Sunday at Libya's request, for offenses including "embezzling public funds and misuse of power for personal benefit."

Libya is not the only country that wants al-Senussi.

France wants al-Senussi extradited there to serve a life sentence handed down in absentia for his role in the 1989 bombing of a French commercial airliner that killed 170 people.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) wants al-Senussi delivered to the Hague to face trial on two counts of crimes against humanity that were allegedly committed by forces under his control in Benghazi during last year's revolt in Libya.

Mauritania has not yet announced if, or where, it plans to extradite al-Senussi.

Amnesty International says Libya cannot provide a fair trial and Mauritania should hand al-Senussi over to the ICC.  Amnesty's senior crisis response advisor, Donatella Rovera, says Libya's justice system is "all but paralyzed" and crimes against humanity are not covered by Libyan law.

"The courts have not resumed working," she said.  "Investigations into serious abuses committed by the former opposition fighters who are now organized in militia, abuses are rife and the judiciary has not had any role.  It has not investigated.  It has not brought to justice any of those responsible.  So, against that background, there are concerns about what might happen if he [al-Senussi] were to be transferred to Libya."

Mauritania is not a signatory to the ICC.  A U.N. Security Council resolution that urges all states to cooperate with the ICC; however, it is unclear what consequences Mauritania would face if it does not.

Al-Senussi was Gadhafi's right-hand man and is thought to hold some of the best-kept secrets of the Gadhafi regime.  He has been on the run since October when rebels captured and killed the toppled dictator.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States wants al-Senussi brought to justice.

"Abdallah al-Senussi's capture is a crucial step towards justice and accountability and another welcome step away from the dark 40-year history of Libya," she said.  "He's been accused of crimes against humanity and acts of terrorism, and the international community has been very clear that he needs to be held to account."

Nuland said the United States is in contact with the government of Mauritania.  She declined to offer further details but did say that the United States has "always been interested in what he [Senussi] has to say" about the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.  The attack killed all 259 people on board and was linked to Libyan intelligence.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs