Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Abuzed Omar Dorda: an important Libyan figure in securing a Lockerbie trial

The following are excerpts from an item posted on this blog on 28 October 2011:

Ex-intel chief to Gaddafi wounded, raising more questions about handling of detainees

[This is the headline over a report published yesterday in the Checkpoint Washington section of The Washington Post website.  It reads in part:]

The former intelligence chief to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi was seriously injured Tuesday while in the custody of the National Transitional Council, fueling concerns about the treatment of loyalists to the deposed government.

The cause of Abuzed Omar Dorda’s injuries are disputed, but a relative of Dorda, a one-time UN envoy, has appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council president to intercede with Libyan authorities to protect the former official, saying he had been the target of an assassination attempt by his jailers. (...)

“Mr Dorda survived a murder attempt last night, 25 October, 2011, at the hands of his guards in the building where he was arrested,” Adel Khalifa Dorda, a nephew and son-in-law of the Gaddafi loyalist, wrote on behalf of the Dorda family. “He was thrown off the second floor leading to several broken bones and other serious injuries.”

The nephew said authorities were forced to move Dorda to a hospital in Tripoli, where “as of now he is being held under extremely poor conditions.” (...)

Dorda had long been a high-ranking official in Gaddafi’s government, playing a role during his years at the United Nations in negotiating the deal that ended UN sanctions on Libya imposed after the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and paving the way to a financial payout to relatives of the victims.

[Omar Dorda played a significant part in gaining and maintaining Libyan Government acceptance of and support for my neutral venue proposal for a Lockerbie trial and in resolving difficulties that arose (largely through the intransigence of the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) after the United States and the United Kingdom eventually accepted the need for such a solution. Without his quiet diplomacy at the United Nations in New York, I doubt if a Lockerbie trial would ever have taken place.]

Further references to Mr Dorda on this blog can be found here. The last, dated 14 April 2014, relates to the start of his trial (along with other officials from the Gaddafi regime) on charges ranging from corruption to war crimes related to the deaths during the 2011 uprising. A Google search discloses no references to Dorda or to this trial since that date.

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