By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 28 July 2015:
It was no surprise. Nine of the 37 Qaddafi regime defendants on trial in Tripoli . . .[restrict]have been sentenced to death by firing squad. Among them Saif Al-Islam, Muammar Qaddafi’s son, as well as Abdullah Senussi, the former chief of the military intelligence, Abuzeid Dorda, the ex-head of the spy service, and Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, the former prime minister. They were all accused of war crimes, of having brought mercenaries to Libya and of have caused divisions among Libyan tribes.
Eight others have been sentenced to life prison. The others will face more or less long prison sentences.
Jibril Kadiki, a former general and close to Saif Al-Islam fainted when he heard his sentence. Guards had to take him out of the courtroom. He was later taken to hospital by ambulance. Another defendant sentenced to death shouted: «Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, it is not fair justice» after the judge finished sentencing. Abdullah Senussi remained calm, his arms crossed on his chest. Abuzeid Dorda smiled from time to time, especially when journalists looked at him.
Right after the session, Ali Kabar, al-Mahmoudi’s lawyer, said he would launch an appeal: “We weren’t able to call our witnesses because they’re afraid to come to Tripoli. The judgement has been too quick. We weren’t able to examine closely the 4,000 pages of the case.”
As in earlier sessions, the road in front of the court was closed off by heavy armed vehicles. More recently, though, security was much less strict and the road was open. The Libya Herald could, for the first time, see policemen with anti-riot equipment inside the courtroom building at Hadba prison.
But there were no pro or anti-Qaddafi demonstrations on the streets. In fact, the mood throughout the city was subdued and quiet. “Who cares about them anymore? Every Libyan knows they are guilty,” a customer in a downtown coffee told this newspaper. “We’re facing much more serious problems like the lack of money and terrorism.”
Saif Al-Islam has not been present in the flesh in the courtroom since the beginning of the proceedings. He is being held by Zintanis who do not recognise the Tripoli-based administration. In a press conference after the court session, the chief prosecutor, Siddiq El-Sur, said Saif el-Islam had been sentenced in absentia but claimed it was totally legal. [/restrict]