Tripoli, 18 December:
The head of a Libyan human rights group condemned the decision to try former chairman of the National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil before a military court.
“This court does not meet the minimum standards for a fair trial, and it cannot be described as a fair trial” said Khaled Saleh, president of Human Rights Solidarity in a statement published on his group’s website yesterday.
He also lashed out Colonel Abdallah Al-Saiti, who according to the statement will head the hearing, calling his actions “unacceptable” and saying that they showed he was not an impartial adjudicator.
Saleh said that he had hoped “arbitrary trials”, such as those that took place under Qaddafi’s rule, had become a thing of the past and that his organisation would contact the relevant authorities at the Ministry of Justice and the General National Congress (GNC) to ask for their intervention.
“The attorney general’s office needs to take over the case, and stop the trial of a civilian before a military court, just as the GNC must investigate the irresponsible actions of the judge [Colonel Abdallah Al-Saiti],” he said.
Separately, there was a small demonstration against the trial in the Fashloum district of Tripoli last night, and a group of former revolutionaries from the area issued a statement condemning Jalil’s treatment.
A military prosecutor in Benghazi told the Libya Herald on 16 December that former NTC chief Abdul Jalil would stand trial “very soon” in connection with the death of General Abdul Fatah Younis in July last year, and in the past week there several other civil society groups have criticised the decision to try him by military court.