Tunisia extradites former Libyan PM


TRIPOLI – Tunisia extradited former Libyan leader Muammar Gadafy’s prime minister to Libya yesterday, a Libyan security official said, making him the first senior official to be sent back for trial under the country’s transitional leadership.

Defence ministry official Mohammed al-Ahwal said a helicopter had transferred Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi to the capital, Tripoli. “Mahmoudi is now in Tripoli and we are holding him in a prison.”

A security official at the prison, who declined to be named, said Mr Mahmoudi was undergoing medical checks.

Mr Mahmoudi served as the Libyan dictator’s prime minister from 2006 until he fled to neighbouring Tunisia around the time that rebel fighters took Tripoli in August.

His extradition could establish a precedent for other countries who have given refuge to or arrested members of Gadafy’s old entourage.

Libya’s government and the International Criminal Court – which indicted Gadafy’s son Saif al-Islam in June for crimes against humanity stemming from the crackdown on last year’s revolt – have argued for months over where he should be tried.

Tripoli considers it a matter of national pride and a measure of the country’s transformation for Saif al-Islam’s and other Gadafy loyalists trials to be held in Libya. – (Reuters)