France, ICC, Libya fight over trial of Qadhafi spy chief
NOUAKCHOTT FRANCE and the International Criminal Court have filed formal requests with Mauritania to extradite Libya’s exspy chief Abdullah Senussi, a security source said on Sunday as Tripoli insisted that it should put him on trial.
“For the time being two requests have been received by Mauritania.
One from France arrived on Saturday and the second from the ICC on Sunday,” the Mauritanian source told AFP.
A delegation from the Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council is expected to visit Mauritania soon to discuss Senussi’s handover.
Libya is determined to try the feared former righthand man of fallen leader Moamer Qadhafi who is wanted by The Haguebased ICC for crimes committed while trying to crush last year’s uprising.
“Our courts are very good, even excellent, especially in Tripoli and we are able to carry out his trial according to international standards,” Justice Minister Ali Hmeida Ashur told AFP on Sunday.
Amnesty international on Saturday said that Senussi should be tried by the ICC in the absence of a functioning judiciary in Libya.
However Mauritanian legal expert Brahim Ould Ebetty warned that the extradition requests would have to be examined by a court and a final decision could “take some time if rules and procedures are followed.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday hailed the arrest and called for Senussi’s extradition to France, his office said.
Ebetty said France has “the best argument to make” for extradition.
Senussi faced an international arrest warrant after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the downing of a French airliner in 1989.
The airliner was brought down by a bomb on September 19, 1989 over Niger. The UTA flight was carrying 170 people from Brazzaville to Paris via N’Djamena.