By Nihal Zaroug.
Tripoli, 12 November:
Abdullah Senussi, Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief, is thought to be suffering from worsening health as implied by . . .[restrict]his 27-year-old daughter Sarah. Speaking with Reuters from an undisclosed location, Sarah said that she had not been in contact with her father in over 60 days and believed that he was not receiving medical care for his kidney cancer, and did not have medication with him. Senussi was extradited from Mauritania in September, by a delegation of high-ranking Libyan officials who successfully negotiated his handover.
Sarah compared her father’s repatriation to stand trail in Libya, as abduction. Adding, “my father has the right to a fair trial and a right to a proper investigation”, “the world has a right to know what he did and who Abdullah Senussi really is. But it must be transparent and legal.”
According to Sarah, Senussi’s lawyer has not been granted access to see him, and human rights groups who requested to visit him in jail, were also refused.
In Libya, Senussi is wanted for crimes committed before and during the 17 February revolution, particularly for his involvement in the 1996 Abu Slim massacre. If tried at the Hague, the ICC can only charge him with crimes committed after February 2011, the same applies to Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, who is currently held by Zintani militiamen and awaiting trial.
Similar to Senussi, his younger daughter, Anood, has not seen her lawyer and was “referred to a criminal court without her or her lawyer being present at court,” claimed Sarah. In October, Anood was arrested by military police in a Tripoli hotel for allegedly entering Libya, with a falsified passport and large sums of money. According to Sarah, her sister planned to visit Senussi without informing anyone. At the beginning of the month, Amnesty International expressed concerns for Al-Anood ‘s safety.
Libya is unable to provide due process for the majority of detainees, reported to number over 6,000. The authorities have been pressed by rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to end arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions and to present before a judge those held by the state, and for the state to assume custody of detainees held by militias.
Last week, on charges of war crimes committed during the revolution, five officers were sentenced to death and three others face ten years’ imprisonment each.
Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, Libya’s last prime minister during Qaddafi’s rule, will begin his trial in Tripoli today, according to Taha Baraa, spokesman to the country’s prosecutor general. Al-Mahmoudi has been in custody since June when he was extradited from Tunisia, and is facing charges of crimes allegedly committed under the former regime.