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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.