By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 4 January:
Justice Minister Salah Maraghni stressed that in the new Libya “no one is above the law ” . . .[restrict]at the government’s end-of-week press conference on Thursday evening.
Maraghni went on to thank the Iraqi authorities’ for their moves towards signing a judicial cooperation agreement with Libya. The minister was referring to efforts to return Libyan prisoners in Iraq back to Libya and to commute death sentences passed on several Libyans to life imprisonment.
Most of the Libyan prisoners held by Baghdad were arrested for taking up arms against government and coalition forces after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
However, the justice minister admitted that his ministry and the new Libya face many challenges. With regards the torture allegations made against official state security personnel after videos apparently showing mistreatment of prisoners emerged on the internet, Maraghni revealed that his government planned to put all detainees under government control.
He also said that his ministry has received much cooperation to this end from the thuwar, including those in Misrata.
Regarding transitional justice, the minister highlighted the fact that his department had submitted several proposals to the GNC for approval including the a bill on the criminalisation of torture and a law prohibiting the trial of civilians by a military court.
The justice minister confirmed earlier reports that Saif Al Islam Qaddafi and the last prime minister from the former regime, Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, will be put on trail as soon as questioning was completed. He said that he had discussed the matter with the prosecutor general, and suggested the trials could begin within a month. [/restrict]