Abdullah al-Senussi, Libya’s former head of intelligence and one of the most humted figures of the toppled Gadhafi regime, is now the subject of an extradition tug of war between Libya, France, and the International Criminal Court (ICC), following his arrest in Mauritania earlier this month. The late Moammar Gadhafi’s brother-in-law was taken into custody at the Nouakchott airport, in possession of an authentic Malian passport, but one secured unlawfully, according to a Guardian source. Said source explained that such passports are more difficult for border authorities to spot than fake ones, and routinely are found out via tips, including those from intelligence agencies. Al-Senussi at the time of his arrest was in the company of a young man thought to be one of his sons, as stated by the Libyan government.

A Red Notice is an international alert necessary in the extradition process, and Interpol issued one in response to Libya’s petition on the grounds al-Senussi had committed embezzlement of public coffers and abused power for his own personal gain. A previous Red Notice was issued in September 2011 on behalf of the ICC, citing crimes against humanity. While Mauritania has no affiliation with the ICC, it is an Interpol signatory. France also has entered the fray to secure al-Senussi’s extradition. He was convicted there in absentia and received a life sentence for his part in a terror attack on a French airliner, the September 19, 1989 explosion of UTA flight 772 over Niger that claimed 170 lives, 54 French citizens among those lost. In fact, accounts have credited France with having a hand in the apprehension of al-Senussi, and a Guardian informant in Mauritania claimed that an extradition arrangement was in place even before his capture. Mauritania has declined to speak on the extradition question, but it is widely believed France will emerge the victor in the contest to try al-Senussi, a retrial likely on French soil.

Discuss this articleDiscuss this article


Print this pagePrint this page



Posted in: Miscellaneous