Tripoli: Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s prime minister, has been extradited by Tunisia to Libya. He is the first senior official to be sent back for trial under the country’s transitional leadership.
“Mahmoudi is now in Tripoli and we are holding him in a prison,” said Defence ministry official Mohammed al-Ahwal, Reuters reported.
Mahmoudi served as the Libyan dictator’s prime minister from 2006 until he fled to neighbouring Tunisia around the time that rebel fighters took the capital Tripoli in August.
Tripoli considers it a matter of national pride and a measure of the country’s transformation that trials of people like Mahmoudi and Gaddafi’s imprisoned son Saif al-Islam be held in Libya.
But human rights groups question whether its justice system can meet the standards of international law and say he should be handed over to the ICC instead.
A Tunisian court ruled as far back as November that Mahmoudi should be extradited. But Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki later said the handover would not happen until the situation in Libya had stabilized and Mahmoudi could be guaranteed a fair trial after Gaddafi himself was killed by rebels and his rotting corpse left on display.