Tripoli, 21 December:
Iraq’s cabinet has taken steps to ratify a deal with Tripoli concerning Libyans currently serving prison sentences in Iraqi . . .[restrict]jails, Libyan news agency LANA reported.
The decision, which was taken yesterday, could allow Libyans in Iraqi jails to serve out the rest of their sentences in their home country.
Iraq’s chargé d’affaires in Tripoli, Khaled Ibrahim, said that the Iraqi cabinet had issued a decree authorising the Iraqi Minister of Justice to negotiate and sign the deal with Libya over the prisoners.
Families of those detained in Iraq have repeatedly asked the General National Congress to take steps to secure their return to Libya.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that he wanted to “reassure the families of the prisoners in Iraq that the government will not overlook the matter.”
Most Libyans in Iraqi jails have been detained for bearing arms against government and coalition forces during the period after the US invasion in 2003.
Six Libyans are currently understood to be on death row in the country for terrorism-related offences, although Zeidan said that Iraqi PM Nuri Al-Maliki had telephoned him to postpone the execution of one Libyan, Adel Al-Shaalali, earlier this month. [/restrict]