Judicial performance in the midst of chaos

15 April 2014 by Christopher Stephen, Tripoli (Libya)

The trial of 37 former senior officials of the Gaddafi regime began in Tripoli on Monday, 14 April, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 41, and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, 63, both subject to arrest warrants issued in 2011 by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Expected but absent on Monday, a younger son of Muammar Gaddafi, Saadi, 40, should be joined to this group trial held by the Criminal Department of the Tripoli Appeal Court for crimes including murder, sedition, torture, illegal detention, incitement to rape and embezzlement.

The case is being heard before four  judges inside Tripoli's maximum security al-Hadba prison, because of security concerns in a country driven with militia violence. It focuses both on the 2011 Arab Spring revolution and preceding years of dictatorship. They are among a total of 37 defendants, including former prime ministers al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi and Bouzid Dorda and a clutch of former regime officials. Many details of the case have yet to be disclosed, including publication of a charge sheet and whether all defendants are arraigned on the same charges. 

Zintan and Misrata refuse transfer to Tripoli

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