Dr. Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi’s court hearing postponed, Tunisian lawyers denied access to session

By Houda Mzioudet
Tripoli, 20 March 2014

Urgent Appeal To The International Community: Demand Immediate Intervention To Save The Life Of Dr. Baghdadi al-MahmoudiMonday’s court hearing for Prime Minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi was adjourned on Monday, in a session some of his lawyers were not to allowed to attend.

The penitentiary administration, which falls under the Ministry of Justice, did not allow either of Mahmoudi’s Tunisian lawyers, Leila Ben Debba or Mehdi Bouaouaja, to attend the session, the lawyers said. The media were also not allowed.

Representatives from the United Nations and ICRC were granted access, however, albeit for a limited time.

The session was held in Hadba prison, where Mahmoudi is being imprisoned, with other Qaddafi-era figures including Abdullah Senussi. The recent addition of Saadi Qaddafi to the prison, Bouaouaja said, could have contributed to increased security measures and court restrictions.

“People attending the session were actually harassed,” Ben Debba told the Libya Herald, without specifying what form this took. She said she blamed the Union of Libyan Lawyers for “non-cooperation” and “hindering the granting of a document” that should have allowed them to attend the session”. She was able to see Mahmoudi from afar but could not speak to him, she added.

Bouaouaja voiced concerns that Mahmoudi could be tried for the same crime twice.

The hearing had been adjourned to next Monday, the two Tunisian lawyers said, adding that they would try and attend the next session.

Mahmoudi’s Libyan lawyer, Dabaa Ali, however, denied that a hearing was planned for next week. He said his client’s case had been referred to the court of appeals of Tripoli but no date had yet been set for a hearing.

He added that the reason why Mahmoudi’s Tunisian lawyers had not to been allowed in court on Monday was because they had not fulfilled certain conditions.