By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 5 July:
Reports in many Libyan news outlets that Qaddafi’s former spy-chief, Abdullah Al-Senussi, had been extradited to Libya . . .[restrict]from Mauritania appear to have been premature.
Last night it was widely reported that Prime Minister Abdurrahman El-Kib had succeeded in securing Al-Senussi’s release during a visit to Mauritania yesterday.
This morning, government sources denied those reports. “I can confirm that Abdulla Al-Senussi is not yet in Libya”, said Ashur Al-Shamis, chief of staff to El-Kib.
Following a meeting with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz yesterday, El-Kib re-emphasised Libya’s commitment returned to Libyan custody. “We have expressed the desire of Libyans to see this person return to his homeland to be judged fairly, with respect for human dignity,” the prime minister said.
Mauritania’s motivations for retaining Al-Senussi remain opaque, with some suggesting it is out of concern for his treatment if returned to Libya, and others suggesting he represents a useful bargaining chip which the government in Nouakchott is reluctant to relinquish. [/restrict]