Tripoli, March 21: Mauritania has promised to hand over Abdullah Senussi to Libya, according to Libyan government spokesman Nasser Al-Mana.
“I emphasise . . .[restrict]that the Mauritanian authorities have confirmed that they will to hand over Abdullah Senussi to the Libyan authorities”, he said at a press conference in Tripoli this evening. This would happen once Mauritania had finished its on own investigations into the case.
“We hope he well be in Libya soon”, Al-Mana said.
Senussi, Qaffadi’s hated intelligence chief, was arrested at Nouakchott early on Saturday morning while in transit between Casablanca and Mali. The arrest came about as a result of collaboration between the Mauritanians and French intelligence, Al-Mana stated.
A Libyan plane has been sent to Nouakchott to bring Senussi back to Libya.
Both France and the International Criminal Court have also each asked Mauritania to hand over Senussi to them. Mauritanian officials have privately spoken of particularly strong pressure from Paris, saying that it was claiming priority because of its help in capturing him.
Following Senussi’s arrest, a small team led by Libyan deputy prime minister, Mustafa Aby Shagur Al-Ghaith, flew to Nouakchott on Monday to press Libya’s claim to his extradition. Al-Mana confirmed that some of the team had also been to see Senussi where he was being held and verified that it was him.
Al-Mana said that once in Libya he would be given “a fair trial that would be in line with international standards”.
Asked about the state of the former spy chief’s health following reports that he had suffered a heart attack after his arrest, Al-Mana replied that Senussi was “in excellent health”.
In thinly veiled attack on the politically ambitious Abdullah Naker, who runs his own unofficial Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Council and who, even after the arrest of Senussi in Mauritania continued to claim to be holding Senussi in Libya, Al-Mana expressed outrage at the behaviour of those who supposedly supported the revolution but who made deliberately “misguided statements”. Such rumour mongering was tantamount to sedition he said. They were acting like criminals and should be prosecuted he said — “and will be punished” he added. [/restrict]