Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mauritania to hand over Libya's former spy chief

Libya's Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur has said Mauritania has agreed to extradite former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi. The announcement was made after a meeting between Abushagur and Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz.

Muritania's authorities, however, later said a decision on extradition is yet to be reached. Al-Senussi, once aide to former Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi, was arrested in Mauritania last week.

Libya's interim government has been adamant that it wants al-Senussi back in the country so he can stand trial on numerous allegations of murder and human rights violations during his time as Qadhafi's head of intelligence.

International police agency Interpol has issued a "red notice" at Libya's request for Senussi "for fraud offences including embezzling public funds and misuse of power for personal benefit". Meanwhile, he is also being sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity.

In addition, France wants to extradite him in connection with a bomb attack on a plane in 1989. A French court convicted al-Senussi on grounds of involvement in a 1989 attack on a French plane that killed 170 people, and sentenced him to life in prison.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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