Tunisia sends ex-Libyan prime minister home for trial | News | DW | 24.06.2012
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Tunisia sends ex-Libyan prime minister home for trial

Tunisia has extradited Libya's former prime minister back home to stand trial. Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi is the first senior official to be sent to Libya to stand trial.

Mahmoudi, the last prime minister under Moammar Gadhafi's dictatorship, was transferred to Tripoli on Sunday, a Libyan defense ministry official said.

"Al-Mahmoudi is now in Tripoli and we are holding him in a prison," the official, Mohammed al-Ahwal, said.

From 2006, he served as Gadhafi's prime minister until fleeing to neighboring Tunisia as rebel fighters took control of Tripoli in August last year.

It is hoped his extradition will set a precedent for other countries harboring members of Gadhafi's old regime, said Ahwal.

National pride and an international show of the country's transformation following Gadhafi's ouster has meant government officials are adamant that trials of figureheads like Mahmoudi and Gadhafi's jailed son Saif al-Islam will be held in Libya.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called into question Libya's justice system, asking whether it meets international law standards. The organization has said Mahmoudi should be handed over to stand trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

As far back as November, a Tunisian court ruled that Mahmoudi should be extradited, but the country's president, Moncef al-Marzouki, declared a handover would only occur once he received assurances the former prime minister would receive a fair trial.

jlw/ncy (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)