Qaddafi’s Last Premier Heads to Court on Mass Rape Charges
Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s last prime minister, Baghdadi Mahmudi, is slated to appear in court in Tripoli today on charges that include ordering mass rape during last year’s uprising.
Mahmudi, who would be the highest ranking former official to stand trial so far, faces charges of “prejudicial acts against the security of the state” and ordering mass rape in the city of Zuwara, Taha Baara, a spokesman for the prosecutor- general, said in a statement distributed to the media.
Mahmudi is also accused of ordering the transfer of dead bodies to buildings hit by Western airstrikes to give the appearance that the strikes resulted in civilian casualties, Baara said.
The start of the trial comes two days before a new Cabinet is scheduled to be sworn in, the first government to be approved by the democratically elected parliament. An earlier list submitted by Prime Minister Ali Zaidan’s predecessor was rejected by lawmakers, who subsequently withdrew confidence from the then-premier.
Libya repeatedly sought Mahmudi’s extradition from Tunisia, where he fled in September 2011. He was returned to Libya in June, and his lawyers say he was beaten by Libyan security officers. Libyan officials deny he was abused while in custody.
To contact the reporters on this story: Brigitte Scheffer in Tripoli via Cairo at firstname.lastname@example.org
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