‘Tunisia Will Not Extradite Al-Mahmoudi If It Feels His Life In Danger’

Tunis Afrique Presse

“Tunisia will not extradite Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, the last Libyan prime minister under the regime of Kadhafi, unless Libya could guarantee a fair trial for him,'” affirmed Official Spokesman for the Presidency of the Republic Adnène Mansar.

“Furthermore, Tunisia will not hand over Al-Mahmoudi if it feels his life is in danger,” he said.

“The agreement between Tunisia and Libya in this regard is a preliminary one,” he underscored, adding that the extradition of Al-Mahmoudi is subject to conditions including the setting up of a Tunisian commission that will be entrusted with making sure that the former Libyan PM will stand a fair trial and be respected physically and emotionally.

But informed sources at the Justice Ministry confirmed the Government’s decision to extradite Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi on condition he will be given a fair trial. This decision had been made in answer to Libya’s request at the last bilateral talks held during the visit of Libya’s head of transitional government Abderrahim Al-Kib. All that remains is the completion of some organisational issues, the same source said.

Al-Mahmoudi’s lawyer Mabrouk Kourchid said, for his part, that the decision on the extradition had been made by an authority that is not concerned, alluding to the government and reminding that Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki had confirmed that Tunisia would not extradite Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi.

“Why should Tunisia hand over Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi whereas several other countries including Niger, Mali and Algeria did not express the intention to extradite members of Khadafi’s entourage,” he wondered, warning against a possible tribal conflict especially in South Tunisia since Al Mahmoudi belongs to a Libyan tribe living close to Ben Guerdane.

Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi Casts Doubt On Existence of Fair Trial Guarantees
Tunis Afrique Presse

Former Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi said, Wednesday from the Prison of Mornaguia, that the decision of his extradition to Libya means “his immediate execution.”

He also questioned the ability and willingness of the Libyan Transitional Council to give him fair trial.

In a statement received by TAP from the group of defence lawyers in Tunisia, the Libyan former PM said he was not ready to be tried in Libya but was willing to respond to all charges against him in any other country in the world and regardless of the legal system as long as it guarantees a fair trial to him and preserves his rights.

“There is not and there cannot be in the next days in Libya a fair trial compliant with the most elementary international standards,” he said, considering that the Libyan Transitional Council has neither the ability nor the sincere will to give him fair trial.”

“I categorically deny all allegations on my participation in crimes against humanity or war crimes and corruption or in any other crimes that were allegedly committed in Libya or in any other place,” the statement of Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi reads.

Libyan authorities, who overthrew the regime of Kadhafi, charge Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi with crimes against humanity, war crimes and rape.

The Tunisian Prime Ministry and the Presidency of the Republic announced, in recent days, their agreement in principle to extradite Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi to the Libyan authorities, provided that they give him fair trial and preserve his rights.

A Tunisian delegation will visit Libya soon to make sure the Libyan Transitional Council will provide needed guarantees before the extradition of Al-Mahmoudi.

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