Libya, France, Hague court compete for Gadhafi′s spy chief | News | DW | 18.03.2012
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Libya, France, Hague court compete for Gadhafi's spy chief

Interpol has put its weight behind Libya's demand that Gadhafi's ex-spy chief be handed over to Tripoli. France and the International Criminal Court are also pushing to get their hands on the man arrested in Mauritania.

Interpol on Sunday issued a "Red Notice," which amounts to an international warrant, putting Abdullah al-Senoussi on its wanted list for fraud and embezzlement and requesting member states arrest him on their home soil.

"Interpol has committed itself to supporting Libya's efforts to achieve its goal of rebuilding their country and being guided by the rule of law, and clearly their request for an Interpol Red Notice for Senoussi is a clear demonstration of their commitment to international police cooperation and justice," the police agency's chief Ronald Noble said in a statement.

"Targeting and arresting those involved in embezzling funds and making them accountable for their actions before the courts will help Libya achieve its goal," Noble said.

Interpol already issued a Red Notice regarding Senoussi in September 2011 on behalf of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which wants him for crimes against humanity committed during the eight-month popular uprising against the Libyan regime.

The Libyan government said it was sending a delegation to Mauritania, where Senoussi is being held, to pressure the North African country into extraditing the fugitive to Libya to be put on trial.

A Mauritanian official said Sunday that his country had so far received requests from France and from the ICC for Senoussi's extradition.

France is also seeking his extradition. A Paris court sentenced Senoussi to life imprisonment in absentia for involvement in the bombing of a French airliner in 1989 that killed 170 people.

Tug of war

Amnesty International has said Senoussi should be tried by the ICC, because Libya lacks a functioning judiciary.

Libya's justice minister, Ali Hmeida Ashur, contested that view on Sunday.

"Our courts are very good, even excellent, especially in Tripoli and we are able to carry out his trial according to international standards," he told the AFP news agency.

The 62-year old was apparently being held in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, where he was detained on Saturday. Officials there said he was traveling with a false passport.

Senoussi was the head of Libyan intelligence under strongman Moammar Gadhafi as well as the leader's brother-in-law. He was the last significant member of Gadhafi's inner circle still on the run since the regime was deposed and Gadhafi killed in October.

ncy/ng (AFP, AP, Reuters)