ICC should try spymaster Senussi, not Libya: Amnesty

TRIPOLI- Libya's former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi should be tried by the International Criminal Court in the absence of a functioning judiciary in Libya, Amnesty International said Saturday.
"Former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi must be sent to the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity," the rights group said in a statement.

Senussi, who served as the spymaster and right-hand man of Libya's slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi, was arrested in Mauritania, prompting both Libya and France to call for his extradition on Saturday.
But Amnesty's deputy Middle East and North Africa director, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said he should be handed over to the ICC in The Hague.
"The Mauritanian authorities should give priority to the ICC arrest warrant against al-Senussi and conduct legal proceedings for his transfer without delay," he argued.
Amnesty International rejected the idea of letting Libya try him, noting the absence of a functioning Libyan court system.
"For as long as the Libyan justice system remains weak and unable to conduct effective investigations into alleged crimes, the International Criminal Court is an important mechanism for accountability in Libya," it said.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Senussi on June 27, saying he was an "indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds" committed in the eastern city of Benghazi. Senussi could also be held accountable for the Abu Salim prison massacre of 1996 when more than 1,000 detainees were gunned down in Libya.
He faced an international arrest warrant after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life in connection to the bombing of a French airliner in 1989 that killed 170 people.
This attack -- along with that a year earlier against a PanAm jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people were killed -- led to a UN-mandated air blockade of Libya in 1992.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy Saturday hailed the arrest and called for Senussi's extradition to France, his office said.
But Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, which also called for his extradition, have insisted Senussi should face justice at home.
Police in Mauritania, which was not a party to the treaty that set up the court, said officials there wanted to investigate Senussi with Interpol before considering any extradition requests.

Sunday, March 18th 2012

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