Gaddafi’s Son Sentenced To Death

GaddafiA Libyan court passed a death sentence in absentia on Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, on Tuesday for war crimes and acts to crush peaceful protests during the country’s 2011 revolution that ended his father’s rule.

The court also sentenced to death by firing squad eight other former Gaddafi regime officials including his former intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi and ex-prime minister, Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, on the same charges,

The Chief Investigator at the Tripoli State Prosecutor’s office, Sadiq al-Sur, said this.

He told a news conference carried by al-Nabaa television that eight other ex-officials received life sentences and seven were given jail terms of 12 years each. Four were acquitted. All but Saif al-Islam are in judicial custody.

The verdict on al-Islam was passed in absentia in Tripoli since he has been held for four years by a former rebel group in the Zintan region beyond central government control.

The trial began in April 2014 before fighting between rival factions in Tripoli ripped Libya apart in a power struggle which has produced two governments competing for central authority.

The sentences can be appealed and must be confirmed by Libya’s highest court.

The International Criminal Court and rights groups say they worry about the fairness and competence of Libya’s judicial system, although it won the right in 2013 to try Senussi at home instead of at the ICC in The Hague.

Red Cross makes second visit to detained Gaddafi’s son

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it had made its second visit to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s former leader, detained by militia fighters in the west of the country.

“We visited him yesterday … It was a short visit by ICRC delegates including a doctor,” ICRC spokesman Steven Anderson told Reuters.

“It was in keeping with our standard procedures. We cannot comment on his condition. He wrote a Red Cross message to a member of his family,” he added.

The visit came six months after Libyan militia fighters captured Saif al-Islam as he took refuge in the Sahara desert, following the overthrow and killing of his father Muammar Gaddafi in Libya’s uprising.

Saif al-Islam’s capture and continued detention by militia fighters has raised concerns about how he is being held and his chances of a fair trial in Libya.

Libya’s new justice minister has said he wants to try Saif al-Islam for murder, torture and other offenses allegedly committed during the crackdown on the revolt. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has also issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam to face charges of crimes against humanity.

Last month a senior defence lawyer at the ICC said Saif al-Islam had been physically attacked and had been denied medical treatment, despite suffering from toothache. Libyan authorities dismissed the report.

REUTERS