By Alexandra Valiente
Reports from Misrata’s Court of Appeals today state that Sheik Khaled Tantoush has been sentenced to life in prison with harsh labor.
Whether his right to legal counsel of his choice had been granted, or precisely what evidence the prosecution presented to support their accusations against him, is unknown.
What is certain is that he had been subjected to extensive torture during his two year detention. He was held incommunicado, denied access to family and detained in harsh and inhumane conditions.
The initial trial, which began in July, 2012, was a mock tribunal, neither fair nor legitimate by Libyan judicial standards.
He was accused of inciting violence, to which he pleaded “not guilty”.
He was also accused of criticizing the February 17th counter-revolution.
In contravention to Libyan law, the Misrata court used as grounds for conviction, the draconian “anti-glorification Law 37, in spite of the fact that it was struck down by Libya’s Supreme Court and declared unconstitutional in June of 2012.
Sheik Khalid Tantoush spoke openly and courageously against NATO and mercenary war crimes, sharing his personal testimony with fact-finding missions and international lawyers investigating NATO crimes in Libya.
His last known act of service before his arrest at his home in Sirte, was the final ceremony and burial for Muammar and Mu’tasim Gaddafi and Abu Bakr Younis.
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