[What follows is the text of a report published this afternoon on the Libya Herald website:]
As was widely expected, a court in Tripoli has sentenced Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi and Abdullah Senussi to death for war crimes during the 2011 revolution. Seven other senior member of the Qaddafi regime have also been given death sentences. They are:
- Former prime minister Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi;
- Abuzeid Dourda; former General Secretary of the General People’s Committee (effectively prime minister) then Qaddafi’s external intelligence chief;
- Mansur Dhou, head of Qaddafi’s Tripoli internal security agency;
- Milad Daman head of internal security;
- Abdulhamid Ohida, an assistant to Senussi;
- Awidat Ghandoor Noubi, responsible for Qaddafi’s Revolutionary Committees in Tripoli;
- Mundar Mukhtar Ghanaimi
Among the other former regime figures on trial, 23 were given jail terms from life imprisonment in the case of eight of the accused to five years for one of them. One person, Nuri Al-Jetlawi, was ordered to be detained at a psychiatric hospital while four were found innocent and freed: former foreign minister Abdulati Al–Obeidi, Ali Zway, Mohamed Al-Waher and Amer Abani.
In the case of Saif Al-Islam, who like Abdullah Senussi, was wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the guilty verdict and sentencing was effectively in absentia. He is being held in Zintan.
All those sentenced to death, as well as the others, have a right to appeal within 60 days. Even if there is no appeal, the sentences still have to be endorsed by the High Court. If the sentences are carried out in the case of Saif Al-Islam, Senussi and the other seven sentenced to death, execution ill be by firing squad.
The court proceedings, held at Hadba Al-Khadra prison, have attracted considerable criticism from Libyan and international human rights lawayers and activists. In the case of Saif Al-Islam, his British lawyer, John Jones, condemned it as “a show trial”. “The whole thing is illegitimate from start to finish… It’s judicially sanctioned execution”, he said.
The internationally recognised government in Beida has rejected the trial as unsafe.
[RB: I am delighted at the acquittal of Messrs Obeidi and Zwai, both of whom played an important and honourable part in resolving the Lockerbie impasse between Libya and the United Kingdom and United States. The conviction of and death sentence on Abuzed Dorda horrify me. As Libya’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations he also had a major rôle in the resolution of the issue. I met all of them on many occasions and found them entirely trustworthy and likeable.]