Libyans to ask Mauritania to hand over Gaddafi's intel chief
Mar 20, 2012, 0:37 GMT
Cairo - Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour arrived in Mauritania ahead of a Tuesday meeting to urge authorities to hand over Moamer Gaddafi's intelligence chief, who was arrested last week on arrival in the country on a flight from Morocco.
'We are determined to take back Abdallah al-Senussi, because he has committed crimes against the Libyans, and so that he can be put on trial in Libya,' Shagour told reporters after his arrival Monday in the capital Nouakchott.
Shagour was reportedly set to meet Tuesday with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
International human rights groups have called for al-Senussi to be delivered for trial to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is indicted on two counts of crimes against humanity during last year's revolt in Libya.
Al-Sensussi, who was Gaddafi's right-hand man, has been on the run since October, when the toppled dictator was captured and killed by rebels.
In Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that al-Senussi's capture 'is a crucial step towards justice and accountability and another welcome step away from the dark 40-year history of Libya.'
'He's been accused of crimes against humanity and acts of terrorism, and the international community has been very clear that he needs to be held to account,' she said.
'We want to see him brought to justice.'
Nuland said that the United States has been 'in contact' with Mauritanian government about al-Senussi but offered no details.
She said that Washington officials have 'always been interested in what he has to say' about the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland - which was linked to Libyan intelligence - but she declined to say whether the United States would seek access to question him.
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