Libyan wartime leader questioned over killing

BENGHAZI, Libya Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:36am IST

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) speaks during the handover ceremony of power to the national congress in Tripoli, August 8, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori/Files

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) speaks during the handover ceremony of power to the national congress in Tripoli, August 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori/Files

Related Topics

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Libyan military prosecutors told the country's wartime rebel leader not to leave the country on Tuesday after questioning him over the killing of a top field commander during last year's conflict, a military prosecution official said.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil led the National Transitional Council (NTC) formed after a revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade rule broke out in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Colonel Abdel Fattah Younes was Gaddafi's interior minister before he defected and joined the rebellion. Gunmen killed Younes in Benghazi in July 2011.

"After listening to the testimony of Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the prosecution has ordered him not to leave the country," said the official, who declined to be named.

Abdel Jalil was interrogated in the town of Al-Marj, 100 km east of Benghazi, the prosecution official said. He refused to elaborate on the interrogation and did not say if Abdel Jalil has been accused or charged with any crime.

He said wartime rebel Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril was also called in for questioning.

Younes's death highlighted ideological splits within the rebel movement that endure in the government formed after Gaddafi's overthrow.

Disputes and power struggles between the factions that united to oust Gaddafi are making it harder for the oil-rich desert country to return to stability and cause chronic confusion over policy.

Younes was welcomed by some into the rebellion and spurned by others, who suspected he may harbour lingering loyalty to the Gaddafi clan and opposed giving him a commanding position in the insurgency.

Younes, who was one of the group involved in the 1969 coup that brought Gaddafi to power, vied with another rebel figure for command of the anti-Gaddafi forces and, at one point, both men claimed to be their leader.

Abdel Jalil, 60, was a judge and justice minister during the Gaddafi era. He resigned from Gaddafi's government in February 2011, at the start of the uprising.

Eleven men have been charged in connection with Younes's murder, including a former deputy premier of the NTC, but only one has been arrested.

In November 2011, the NTC's chief military prosecutor Yussef al-Aseifr named its former deputy prime minister Ali el-Essawi as the main suspect in the killing of Younes.

A year later, Essawi was charged with abuse of his authority and, along with nine other men, assisting in the abduction of Younes before his death. Another man, Salem al-Mansouri, was charged with the actual killing.

Only Mansouri is in custody. A trial has been set for February 20.

(Reporting By Ghaith Shennib; Writing By Hadeel Al-Shalchi; Editing by Michael Roddy)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage