SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –The daughter of Muammar Gaddafi has been granted asylum in Oman after she was thrown out of her safe house in Algeria for repeatedly setting fires and attacking guards in fits of rage over her situation, it emerged last night.
Aisha Gaddafi, who gave birth to a daughter just days after fleeing to Algeria in 2011, started fires inside the presidential palace she was given, attacked her army bodyguards and destroyed a portrait of the Algerian President, Abdul Aziz Bouteflika, the local newspaper Ennahar reported.
The destruction of the painting was said to have been the final straw and the 37-year-old, who used to be a UN goodwill ambassador, was forced to leave the country.
Ms Gaddafi, her mother Safia Farkash, her daughter, also named Safia, and brothers Mohammed and Hannibal are understood to have been living under the protection and at the expense of the Omani government since October 2012. They were given sanctuary there on "humanitarian grounds".
"Gaddafi's wife, two sons and a daughter, as well as their children, have been in Oman since October last year," an Omani government official told Reuters last week.
Ms Gaddafi, a lawyer by profession, is the fifth child of former Libyan leader Gaddafi and his only daughter.
Her husband, Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi, an army colonel, and two of their three children were killed in bombing raids that ended her father's 42-year regime. She left Libya with her mother and brothers in a convoy of armed Mercedes-Benz cars.
Algeria said it took in the family because Ms Gaddafi was so close to giving birth and because the International Criminal Court had not issued arrest warrants for any members of the party. An Algerian government source said: "She ended up blaming Algeria for many of her problems, and also began starting fires in the house," the Daily Telegraph reported.
One of Aisha's brothers Saif al-Islam is awaiting trial in a Libyan prison, while another, Saadi, fled to Niger. Three other of Gaddafi's sons, including the country's national security adviser Mutassim, were killed by rebels on the same day as the leader, 20 October 2011.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Algeria confirmed the late dictator's second wife, Safia, daughter Aisha, and sons Hannibal and Muhammad had fled the upmarket coastal region of Staoueli, close to Algiers, where they had lived since fleeing Libya in 2011.
Oman and Venezuela had both reportedly previously offered members of Gaddafi's family asylum, and officials say it is also possible they have joined former Gaddafi fighters in Mali.
Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, remains in custody in the Libyan town of Zintan, and his brother Saadi is under house arrest in Niger.
Libya has already put Aisha and Hannibal on Interpol's red notice list, obliging member states to arrest them.
Aisha's Israeli lawyer, Nick Kaufman, would not comment on reports of their flight, but said he was representing her in efforts to get the international criminal court to investigate the killing of her father. "I was indeed retained by Aisha Gaddafi for one discrete issue; namely, seeking the opening of an investigation at the ICC into the murder of Muammar Gaddafi," he told the Guardian.
The news of their disappearance comes as Egypt and Morocco announce the arrest of several prominent Gaddafi-era figures who had fled Libya, including Gaddafi's cousin Ahmed Gaddafi al-Dam, captured in Cairo.
The three siblings fled Libya with Safia during the Arab spring revolution as rebel forces entered Tripoli in August 2011.
Aisha lost her husband and two children in the Nato bombing of Tripoli in 2011 and gave birth to a baby girl the day after arriving in Algeria.
Of the three, Libyan authorities are keenest to arrest Hannibal, formerly head of Libya's maritime transport authority and who they say was part of Gaddafi's inner circle.
Before the revolution, Hannibal, 37, became known for his brushes with the law in Europe. In 2008 he and his wife, Aline Skaf, a Lebanese model, were arrested by Swiss police after being accused of attacking members of their staff in a Geneva hotel. They were later released after Libya arrested two Swiss businessmen in apparent retaliation.
A year later police were called to reports of a woman screaming from the hotel room the couple shared at Claridge's in London. Three bodyguards were arrested by police for obstruction and inside Skaf was found battered and bleeding and was treated in hospital.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Grand Shia cleric, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi at the beginning of his Fiqh course condemned the behavior of some Arab rulers.
His eminence reiterated: These governments which hand in hand are plotting for the fall of other countries -first Syria and now Iraq-, are entirely leaning upon arrogant devil governments.
"The government system in such countries is not democratic. They furthermore, are utterly dependent on the US and other arrogant governments. Why do not they open their eyes and take a look at what happened to other tyrants who were once the westerns’ puppets and now they only could be found in the ash heap of history." His eminence remarked.
He added: “Gaddafi when in power was loved by the US, the west and those arrogant governments; they would take “memorial pictures” with him. However, once they saw things changing left him alone and sent even forces to Libya to get rid of him.
His eminence warning the regional reactionary rulers stated “this is going to be your destination too. Why don’t you take lesson of your fellow dictators? They showed no mercy to Gaddafi and they will treat you likewise. It is strange that they do not take any lesson f r o m what they have been observing. They claim intellect but in fact they lack the least logic and intelligence or else they would not be acting like this.
Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi highlighted the fact that only those governments could survive and be successful which are supported by their nations. If you keep leaning on the US and Israel you be sure that your turn is to come someday too.
His eminence added: There exists no government in the world like Iran against which such hostility and plotting is carried out by those arrogant regimes. Nevertheless our nation is always on the scene; they showed the whole world on 22nd of Bahman –marking the victory anniversary of the Islamic revolution- that they are and will be supporters of the Islamic revolution no matter how hard the external pressures are. A government with such ground will not disturb at all.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Col. Faraj el-Dersi, who defected to the rebel side from Muammar Gaddafi’s police force, was gunned down late last year on the streets of Benghazi, and he bled to death in the arms of his teenage daughter.
As Libya on Sunday marked the second anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled Gaddafi, the death of el-Dersi and nearly 40 other similar slayings are seen as evidence that some in the country are too impatient for a political system that has yet to deliver justice and national reconciliation.
Suspicion in many of the killings of senior security and military officials has fallen on Islamists who were brutally suppressed under Gaddafi. Now, they have become among the most powerful groups in the new Libya, particularly in the east, with heavily armed militias at their command.
And they are settling old scores themselves, rather than wait for transitional justice — the process of society punishing or forgiving the abuses of the old regime.
Mustafa al-Kufi, a 59-year-old former prisoner and political activist, said the various post-Gaddafi governments and the current parliament are all fearful that if they head down the path of transitional justice, many members of the ruling class would be among those punished for past wrongdoing.
“This is a very pressing issue and a core demand in the street,” said al-Kufi, who spent 12 years in prison under Gaddafi.
“We need to know who did what and then ask families of the victims for forgiveness. But since this didn’t take place, violence will continue because there is no justice.
Like other Arab countries that ousted authoritarian leaders, Libya is now mired in a chaotic and violent transition to a new society. It is plagued by unruly and heavily armed militias that have slowly come under a unified command but remain filled with hard-liners who were in the front line in the war against Gaddafi.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Evidence has been promised to a French court that could prove former President Nicolas Sarkozy accepted more than €50 million in campaign donations from ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Information pointing to the existence of such documents was revealed late last year by Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine. He’s currently facing corruption charges and is under investigation over allegations of his involvement in a money laundering operation between France and the Middle East, in which he is believed to have been involved for 20 years.
“I can provide you with details of the financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign,” Le Parisien quoted Takieddine as saying. He told the judge the sums involved would exceed €50 million, as Sarkozy’s 2006-7 campaign was “abundantly” financed by Tripoli. The payments continued after Sarkozy's victory, Takieddine added.
Takieddine’s testimony repeats allegations made by Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam and French investigative website Mediapart. Sarkozy has denounced the claims as “grotesque.”
He also claimed to be in possession of “evidence that three French companies in Libya have received contracts for fictitious services" to the tune of "more than €100 million."
At a December 19 hearing, Takieddine said a number of meetings to organize the payments had taken place in 2006 and 2007 between Claude Gueant, Sarkozy’s chief of staff, and Gaddafi’s private secretary, Bashir Saleh. He said records of these meetings were in the possession of former Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Mahmoudhi, who is living in exile in France.
Takieddine was apprehended while attempted to take cash out of Libya on a private flight in March 2011, during the NATO-led anti-Gaddafi campaign.
His trial centers on claims that a series of bombings in 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan, were carried out in revenge for the non-payment of bribes agreed during the 1994 sale of a French submarine. The tragedy killed 14 people, including 11 French naval engineers. Takieddine is charged with acting as an intermediary in the deal.
It is alleged that some of the cash involved was transferred back to former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur’s 1995 presidential election campaign. The activities also implicate Nicolas Sarkozy, who was Balladur’s campaign spokesman and budget minister.
If found to be true, the allegations could severely embarrass the former French president, as he together with UK Prime Minister David Cameron played a leading role in instigating the NATO airstrikes that helped topple Gaddafi in October 2011.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Libya's government has declared that it had taken control of one of the last strongholds of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi's loyalists.
The declaration was followed by celebratory gunfire, with fighters in the heart of the city firing their guns into the air after fierce battles that left dozens dead and thousands displaced.
The capture of Bani Walid on Wednesday, some 140km southeast of the capital Tripoli, has been claimed as a triumph for the government that replaced Gaddafi's regime.
But the length of time it took the government to secure the town - a full year - underlined the difficulties faced by the new regime in imposing its authority over squabbling tribes and heavily armed militias.
Youssef al-Mankoush, the Libyan army chief of staff, said military operations in the city were terminated but that some forces were still chasing a few pockets of Gaddafi loyalists.
Al-Mankoush said the clashes resulted in a number of casualties, injuries and some were even kidnapped and held for a long time against their will.
Al Jazeera's Omar al-Saleh, reporting from Bani Walid, said: "Fighters tell me the situation inside the town remains tense."
"They are trying to clear pockets of resistance and there are few snipers positioned at different buildings," he said.
Nasser al-Manei, a government spokesman, said 50 people on the government side were killed and hundreds others wounded in the Bani Walid operation.
Speaking in Tripoli, al-Manei said about 100 of those wanted by the government were arrested, while 13 civilians held by the fighters in Bani Walid were freed.
Fear of violence
The victory could spark new violence, analysts say.
The government-backed militia that led the charge came from the city of Misrata, a longtime rival of Bani Walid, and it is feared reprisals could result.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Jazeera
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Tripoli, 2011. The morning following the mortar attack – August 24 – it was safe enough to venture out into the streets. I headed to the office ofLibya's government. A rebel showed me inside; it was as if the senior members of Gaddafi's government had just popped out for lunch. In the meeting room, someone had left a briefcase behind on the veneered oval table. A green sign in Arabic proclaimed: "Dr Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, prime minister of Libya."
Next to the now ghostly chair were places for the prime minister's colleagues: finance, education, the environment and fisheries. In an adjacent room the air conditioning softly hummed. Portraits of Libya's vanished dictator still hung on the walls. I discovered official papers that told their own story – petitions, a wedding invite, and a Libya investment report by Ernst & Young ("Quality In Everything We Do"). It wasn't clear which minister had been perusing it. But the papers spoke of how rapidly Libya had reintegrated itself with the western commercial world, after the country's emergence from isolation and sanctions.
In Al-Mahmoudi's private office I pilfered copies of secret US diplomatic cables concerning Libya, leaked in December 2010 by WikiLeaks, and seen by some as a catalyst for the Arab uprisings. The cables referenced the "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse who accompanied Gaddafi everywhere.
At the time Gaddafi had dismissed the US state department reports as lies. But here they were, meticulously annotated into Arabic.
The feelings of ordinary Libyans towards the Gaddafi regime and its missing representatives was best summed up by two pieces of graffiti written on the wall outside. One read: "To hell with Gaddafi." The other: "Down with frizzy head."
The rebels may have dethroned Gaddafi. But the price had been high. I toured Tripoli's Italian-built central hospital, where doctors hadn't had time to tally up the dead. Corpses lay dumped next to the entrance in a stinking side-room. Several dozen fighters were killed in the ferocious battle for Bab al-Aziziya, Gaddafi's complex. Others with serious head and abdominal wounds slumbered in the intensive care unit; bandaged and gravely ill. The room was silent but for a rhythmic plink-plunking.
Dr El-Mahdi, the hospital's orthopedic consultant, told me that Libyans supported Nato's decision to bomb government targets. They hadn't been duped by anti-western state propaganda: "I think they [the allies] prevented Benghazi from eradication," he said. Libya's revolution was a continuation of earlier ones, said the doctor. "This started from eastern Europe and then spread to the Balkans. Now it comes to our world. It will carry on through Africa and some other countries with dictators."
At Tripoli's secret police headquarters nobody had turned up for work. Nor had anyone clocked in at the foreign ministry – a charming building on Tripoli's seafront, built in the 1960s by King Idris, the monarch whom Gaddafi deposed in September 1969 in a bloodless coup. I found the doors to the European Union section locked. A rebel tried unsuccessfully to prise a gold-framed portrait of Libya's former leader from the wall. Frustrated, he instead smashed the glass.
A short walk from the foreign ministry was the residence of Britain's ambassador in Libya, a building trashed and looted in March 2011 while Gaddafi's soldiers looked on. The ornate metal gate was unlocked. I wandered inside. The art deco structure was now a spectacularly gutted ruin. Fire had completely razed the ground floor, debris covered the sweeping marble staircase. All that was left of Her Majesty's billiard table was a charred frame. Pieces of Minton bone china and the bottom of a Whittard teapot lay next to a ravaged dishwasher.
Osama Mohamad, a marine scientist whose son had witnessed the destruction, showed me around. He said that Gaddafi's officials had encouraged locals to destroy and rob the property. Osama said he was disappointed by Britain's close relationship with Gaddafi, and by the invitation to Libya's ambassador – subsequently withdrawn – to attend Prince William's wedding. "Gaddafi's been a dictator for 42 years. I don't accept it. I accept it from Italy but not from Britain," he said. He added: "Tony Blair is an adviser to Gaddafi. It's strange."
In the sunny courtyard were the remains of four burned-out cars. Round the back the ambassador's swimming pool was now an algae-infested pond. Vandals had smashed up the changing rooms – hurling a loo seat on the floor. A sign still read: "Please shower before entering the pool." A second world war memorial to British troops who died fighting in the western desert against Rommel's Germans lay smashed in small chunks.
Britain's ambassador Richard Northern and his family had clearly left in a hurry. The upstairs rooms were filled with papers he had been unable to take, as well as an unread copy of Martin Amis's novel The Information. The Tripoli Post was discarded on the floor, together with a Libya map (which I liberated) and "Mastering Arabic". A typed page left by one long-departed ambassador offered helpful hints on local customs. It lamented: "The only real hardship is the total absence of a decent glass of wine in the entire British embassy, once the Christmas ration is finished."
There was also a menu from a dinner given in honour of Charles Clarke – a sign of Britain's dubiously warm relations with Tripoli under the last British Labour government. Clarke, then home secretary, enjoyed spiced pumpkin soup with "pan-friend Dentishi" and "North African lamb with couscous and mixed vegetables". The wine situation had clearly improved in recent years: with the then Labour minister served a bottle of Chablis grand cru, as well as coffee and truffles. For most of Tripoli's residents, such opulence was unthinkable. Poverty was one of the key factors behind Libya's "February 17" revolution, in a country with enormous oil and gas reserves – in fact, the largest proven oil reserves on the African continent, with a whopping 43.6 billion barrels.
At one rebel checkpoint I met a group of volunteers sitting on a superior black leather sofa. They had borrowed it from a nearby flat and parked it on the pavement. The rebels had also helped themselves to a coffee table.
"In our home we didn't have anything like this," Moaied al-Nadami, 30, explained, pointing to his new suite. "Gaddafi has many expensive things. He spent our money on parties and buying guns." Al-Nadami said he worked as a dentist and lab technician. He showed off a 10mm revolver he had seized from Gaddafi's compound. "I was there. We found many, many guns," he said.
But while most rebels were friendly, some were not. In a warren of alleys near Gaddafi's compound one excited group demanded to see my ID and passport. The rebels were suspicious, hostile, and armed; they claimed they were looking for informers and traitors spying for Gaddafi's regime. "How do we know you are not spies?" one asked. In the days that followed – with Gaddafi toppled, but still alive and in hiding – his ruined complex became Libya's premier tourist attraction.
The sprawling Bab al-Aziziya compound filled with cars as ordinary Libyans got their first opportunity to peer inside it. The main ceremonial building – stormed by the rebels and a bombed out wreck – echoed with crazy gunfire. Smiling locals took snaps on their mobile phones, or peered from the balcony at Tripoli's shimmering skyline. By the following summer, the compound would become an unofficial municipal rubbish dump, with a few intrepid squatters taking up residence in the former army mess.
Just up a grassy knoll I joined other visitors to the discrete villa belonging to Saif al-Islam, who would later be captured in the desert by Zintani rebels. Dozens wandered in through the concealed entrance: two green doors led to a shady garden of figs and lime trees. Fires still burned. In one ravaged bedroom a man knocked on the wall. "Are you there, Gaddafi?" he joked.
"I'm taking photos to show to my brothers and family still in Tunisia," Salah Ermih explained, recording the ransacked interior on his mobile phone. Ermih, a surgeon, said he had dashed out from his overworked hospital to have a look. He added: "A month ago I knew this would happen. Gaddafi was getting weaker and weaker." What would happen to Libya now? "We should be a democracy. But in our own way."
The villa spoke of a luxuriously European lifestyle – a state-of-the-art kitchen, a large store cupboard smelling pungently of looted spices, and a collection of videos. A DVD of the Hollywood film Open Season sat among the debris; on the floor of Saif's study was the cover from a January issue of The Economist. It read: "The Eurocrisis, Time for Plan B". Christmas cards addressed to Saif were scattered about.
Some of those who turned up had brought their kids. Children leant through the back windows of saloon cars, waving V-signs. One of the most remarkable aspects of Gaddafi's compound was its sheer size: office and residential buildings dotted around an enormous four-kilometre grassy space, a city within a city. A thick forbidding wall sealed off the compound from ordinary citizens. It housed senior regime officials and the government's formidable security apparatus.
Another newly popular attraction were the tunnels – a network of subterranean passages. Locals queued up to go inside via a small manhole and down a green ladder outside the building used by Gaddafi to show off American cruise missiles. The most accessible complex was something of a disappointment – though you could pop up pleasingly several hundred meters away, next to Saif al-Islam's grassy residence.
There were few clues to where Gaddafi might be hiding. His regime had cynically built a children's fairground above the main tunnel entrance. The cups and saucers from one of the rides were intact, but the teapot had toppled over. The complex was strewn with the remnants of battle: bullets, crates used for mortars, expensive leather sofas stacked up in a lavish reception room as an improvised defensive wall, a dead kitten.
"Gaddafi is mafia! Gaddafi is Al Pacino!" cried Omar Naaji as he and a group of rebels combed through a suite of trashed regime offices. A red-carpeted staircase led to an upper storey containing a barred interrogation area. "This is where lots of people were arrested," Naaji said, showing off a security protocol detailing the names of those rounded up. "My brother was held here two years ago. I've come to have a look," Walid Shara, 27, from Misrata, added.
A large man burst into the office, incredulous he had penetrated into the heart of Gaddafi's fallen empire. "Allahu Akbar!" he shouted, dancing up and down. Minutes later he was frantically carrying box-files containing prisoner details to his car. "I'm not a thief. I'm going to give these to Al-Jazeera," he insisted. "I'm very happy. Gaddafi is finished."
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — It’s been a year since the world was transfixed by the extraordinary video of Muammar Gaddafi, sitting bloodied and cowering in his hometown of Sirt, as he faced his imminent death, while Libyan rebels pummeled him with rifle butts and boots. Within minutes his 42-year dictatorship, and the seven-month civil war, was over.
But what exactly happened that day—Oct. 20, 2011?
One year on, there are still troubling questions about how Gaddafi died, as well as how dozens of his loyalists were apparently executed in captivity that day—a war crime, if proved, committed by Libya‘s rebels. Beyond simply how the history of the Libyan Revolution is written, the disputed details over what happened that day still fuels the explosive violence, one year on, seen between the vengeful remnants of Gaddafi’s loyalists and the patchwork of militias who won the war.
First, the official version: The night Gaddafi was killed, then-Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told me in Tripoli that his death had been an accident, and that rebels had fully intended bringing him back alive. “There was cross-fire and he was shot while they were carrying him to a truck,” Jibril told me in an interview. “He did not resist, although he had a small pistol.”
One year on, that version seems incorrect—constructed, perhaps, because the turmoil at the time muddied the truth, or perhaps because the truth would run counter to international law and Western sensitivities.
Drawing on extensive interviews with both rebels and Gaddafi supporters, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Wednesday that Gaddafi was in fact killed after his capture—a war crime under international treaties, which outlaw the killing of enemy prisoners. Human Rights Watch says in its report that Gaddafi had already been wounded when he was captured (clear on the video), from a grenade thrown by one of his own bodyguards that exploded in his midst, killing his defense minister Abu Bakr Younis next to him. Bleeding heavily from his injury, Gaddafi was also weak and exhausted, having eaten and drunk little in days, and appeared in poor shape to resist rebel blows. “Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture,” Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director, said on Wednesday.
Ironically, Gaddafi might have escaped Sirt had it not been for a decision to take wounded loyalists with him. According to Human Rights Watch’s interviews, what was supposed to be a pre-dawn operation in the dark turned into a lengthy maneuver in broad daylight, involving a large convoy of vehicles that NATO quickly spotted from the air and fired on. Gaddafi’s fifth son Mutassim, who had led the regime’s battle for Sirt, was captured by Misratah militia and driven to that city—which had a withstood a brutal siege by Gaddafi forces—where he was executed in captivity.
Now the question is whether the rebels have brought Gaddafi back alive to stand trial. The answer remains unclear, since fighters who had suffered decades of Gaddafi’s dictatorship all started to thrash him, with one stabbing him in his anus with a bayonet—a wound that might have caused a fatal loss of blood, according to Human Rights Watch interviews.
Yet despite the turmoil, Libya’s rebel leaders were in phone contact with the fighters on the scene from their Benghazi headquarters—a fact that was not clear at the time. That raises questions about whether or not they pushed to get Gaddafi back alive. Ali Tarhouni, who’d been Jibril’s deputy when Gaddafi was killed, said that a government official in their Benghazi headquarters had called Gaddafi’s captors, and handed the telephone to him. “I got the person right next to him [Gaddafi],” he told me in a phone interview on Wednesday, recalling that extraordinary moment. “He was still alive.” Tarhouni did not say whether the order was to bring Gaddafi in alive, since the call was to confirm that the rumors of his capture were true.
One year on, in fact, Libyan leaders—who have since held the country’s first free elections in decades—express huge relief that Gaddafi was killed. Most are convinced that a Gaddafi trial would have complicated their ability to rebuild the country after decades of dictatorship. As it is, the new leaders have sputtered along for a year, feuding among themselves and unable to bring the country’s myriad armed factions under national control. And besides, there was virtually no appetite among ordinary Libyans to see the dictator given a fair hearing in court. “There was a serene relief,” says Jalal el-Gallal, the wartime spokesman for the rebels’ National Transitional Council, recalling the atmosphere inside their Benghazi headquarters that day, when they realized Gaddafi was dead. “We needed to move on, and Gaddafi, by dying, made that easier.”
But what of the scores of others who were killed that day? Human Rights Watch says at least 66 Gaddafi loyalists appear to have been “summarily executed” as unarmed prisoners in Sirt during the hours after Gaddafi’s death on Oct. 20. The organization analyzed phone video shot by rebels who brought the remaining loyalists back to Sirt’s Mahari Hotel, and then compared those in captivity to the decomposing bodies a Human Rights Watch team had examined at the hotel after the massacre. Before shooting them, says the report, rebels took their weapons from them, and “after bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings.”
Neither Libyan leaders nor the International Criminal Court have investigated the shooting in custody of Gaddafi’s remaining fighters, nor the details of Gaddafi’s death or the apparent execution of his son Motassim. That, says Human Rights Watch, is a mistake which could haunt Libya’s new leaders, as they attempt to stabilize the country and bring under their control the many militia groups, including the powerful Misratah brigade which caught Gaddafi. “One of Libya’s greatest challenges is to bring its well-armed militias under control and end their abuses,” Bouckaert said. “A good first step would be to investigate the mass executions of October 20, 2011, the most serious abuse by opposition forces documented so far.”
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Omran Ben Shaaban, a 22-year-old Libyan man thought to be instrumental in capturing Muammar Gaddafi, died today after being beaten by the former dictator’s supporters.
Kidnappers abducted Shaaban and three others in July near the Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, The Associated Press reported.
Rebels credit Shaaban with helping find Gaddafi as he hid in a drainage ditch last October during the Arab Spring uprising in Libya.
Shaaban had been hospitalized in France.
Libya’s National Congress said police and the armed forces are authorized to use force to bring Shaaban’s captors to justice, the AP said.
Kidnappers shot Shaaban in the neck and stomach during an escape attempt, his brother Walid Ben Shaaban told AFP.
GNC president Mohammed Megaryef helped negotiate Shaaban’s freedom after almost two months, AFP said.
A private plane flew Shaaban’s body back to his hometown of Misrata today where crowds awaited.
Misrata and Bani Walid are traditional rivals that fell on opposite sides of the uprising against Gaddafi.
Tensions in the area remain heightened.
“We will give the authorities an opportunity to tackle the issue, but if they fail to act, we know how to make our move,” Walid Ben Shaaban, who commands a militia of former rebels, told AFP.
The GNC hailed Shaaban as a hero.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The trial of Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam will be delayed by five months to include any relevant testimony obtained via the interrogation of Libya's former spy chief who was arrested last week, the prosecutor general office said on Sunday.
Government officials said in August Saif al-Islam's trial on charges of war crimes - the most high-profile prosecution of a figure from his late father's entourage to date - was due to begin in September.
But the arrest on Wednesday of Abdullah al-Senussi, the former spy chief known as "Gaddafi's black box", has pushed that date back, postponing a trial a lawyer from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already said is unlikely to be fair.
"We were ready to try Saif al-Islam this month but after bringing back Senussi to Libya, new information will come to light which will delay the trial for at least five months," Milad al-Zintani, lawyer at the prosecutor general's office, told a news conference.
Senussi was handed over to Libya by Mauritanian authorities on Wednesday after being captured in the West African state in March, triggering a tug of war between Libya, France and the ICC for his extradition.
The announcement from the prosecutor general's office comes amid criticism of the trials of other former Gaddafi officials by the Libyan Council on Freedom and Human Rights.
"The law usually supports justice, but we are now facing an exceptional justice system which lacks the basis of a fair trial," Mohammed al-Alagy, a former interim justice minister who now heads the human rights council, told reporters.
Without naming any specific cases, he said trials were being ordered while bypassing necessary legal steps to ensure suspects are treated fairly.
So far, former spy chief Buzeid Dorda has appeared in the dock, and on Monday former foreign minister Abdel-Ati al-Obeidi and former secretary general of the General People's Congress Mohammed Zwai will stand trial.
Libya's new rulers, who aim to draw up a democratic constitution, are keen to try Gaddafi's family members and loyalists at home to show the country's citizens that those who helped Gaddafi stay in power for 42 years are being punished.
Human rights activists worry a weak central government and a relative lack of rule of law mean legal proceedings - both for Senussi and for Saif al-Islam - will not meet international standards.
On Wednesday, rights groups called on Libya's government to hand over Senussi to the ICC where an arrest warrant for him remains in force.
In July, a war crimes lawyer who was detained in Libya for three weeks on spying allegations said her experience had shown it was impossible for Saif al-Islam to get a fair trial in his home country.—www.shafaqna.com/English