x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Mauritania promise 'positive' outcome for Libya in Senussi extradition

Libya's vice-premier Mustafa Abu Shagur met Mauritanian leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Nouakchott to discuss the extradition Abdullah Senussi, also wanted by France and the ICC.

NOUAKCHOTT // Mauritania's president has promised Libya a "positive" outcome in its quest to have Muammar Qaddafi's ex-spy chief extradited to stand trial on home soil, a Libyan leader.

Libya's vice-premier Mustafa Abu Shagur met Mauritanian leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Nouakchott to discuss the extradition of Qaddafi's feared former right-hand man Abdullah Senussi, also wanted by France and the International Criminal Court.

Mr Senussi was detained Friday night at Nouakchott airport after arriving on a flight from Casablanca in Morocco, using a false passport.

"He [Senussi] is Libyan and the Libyan people want to see him and assure he obtains a fair trial in Libya. We thus highly appreciate the position of the president who has promised something positive in this regard," Mr Abu Shagur told journalists.

"We have thanked the president for the courageous decision he took in deciding to arrest Abdullah Senussi. It is a historic and brave decision the Libyan people will never forget, because this man was the second most important person in Libya after Qaddafi."

He was the subject of an ICC arrest warrant issued on June 27, which says he was an "indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds" committed in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Senussi is also the subject of an international arrest warrant after a Paris court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment for involvement in the downing of a French UTA airliner over Niger in September 1989.

The plane was carrying 170 people from Brazzaville to Paris via N'Djamena.

That attack — along with the bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 in which 270 people were killed — led to a UN-mandated air blockade of Libya in 1992.