Libya must hand over Gaddafi spy chief - Hague judges

AMSTERDAM Thu Feb 7, 2013 8:22pm IST

Muammar Gaddafi's former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi (C) is seen in custody in Tripoli in this undated handout picture. Senussi was handed over to Libya by Mauritanian authorities after being captured in the West African state in March, triggering a tug of war between Libya, France and the ICC for his extradition. REUTERS/Libyan National Guard/Handout

Muammar Gaddafi's former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi (C) is seen in custody in Tripoli in this undated handout picture. Senussi was handed over to Libya by Mauritanian authorities after being captured in the West African state in March, triggering a tug of war between Libya, France and the ICC for his extradition.

Credit: Reuters/Libyan National Guard/Handout

Related Topics

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - International Criminal Court judges ordered Libya on Thursday to hand over Muammar Gaddafi's former spy chief and let him see his lawyer, raising the stakes in a dispute over who has the right to try the deposed strongman's top lieutenants.

The statement placed the Hague-based court on a collision course with Libya's new rulers, who say Gaddafi-era leaders in their custody should face local justice over charges of mass killings and other atrocities.

The ICC judges said Libya must extradite Abdullah al-Senussi over his alleged role in orchestrating reprisals against the protesters in the 2011 uprising that overthrew Gaddafi.

"Libya remains under obligation to comply with the surrender request," the judges said in their statement.

They would decide later how to respond if the North African state continues to hold Senussi, the judges added. The court has the power to refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council.

"The ICC has ordered an immediate halt to Libya's unseemly rush to drag Mr. Al-Senussi to the gallows before the law has taken its course," said Ben Emmerson, Senussi's lawyer before the ICC.

Judges also ordered Libya to grant Emmerson access to his client.

Libya has become a test case of the effectiveness of the 10-year-old court, which relies on the cooperation of member countries to arrest suspects and enforce its orders.

A court-appointed lawyer for Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam was detained in Libya for a month alongside three other court officials when she attempted to visit her jailed client. Since, court officials and defence lawyers have had no contact with either Saif al-Islam or Senussi.

Most recently, allegations have surfaced that Libya paid Mauritania $200 million to ignore the ICC arrest warrant last year, sending Senussi to Tripoli rather than to the ICC's detention centre in The Hague.

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

SCOTLAND VOTES

Reuters Showcase

No Ground War

No Ground War

Obama vows U.S. will not fight another ground war in Iraq.  Full Article 

Beheading Plot

Beheading Plot

Militants urged Australian "demonstration killings" - PM Abbott.  Full Article | Related Story 

Fatal Vaccination

Fatal Vaccination

Measles vaccination campaign halted in northern Syria after 15 children die.  Full Article 

Cancer Detected

Cancer Detected

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford diagnosed with rare cancer.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola could drain billions of dollars from African economies - World Bank.  Full Article 

Pakistan Floods

Pakistan Floods

Pakistani Islamists use floods to turn opinion against India  Full Article 

Ukraine Tension

Ukraine Tension

Ukraine PM tells army to be on full battle alert despite ceasefire.  Full Article 

Chemical Weapons

Chemical Weapons

Syria reveals more chemical weapons facilities to watchdog - sources.  Full Article 

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan's PM threatens to clear protesters camped in capital.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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