Libya has requested the extradition of Muammar Gaddafi’s intelligence chief after his capture in Mauritania. Abdullah Senussi was detained on Saturday as he arrived on an Air Morocco flight from Casablanca. He was carrying a fake Malian passport and is now under police interrogation in Mauritania, a Libyan government spokesperson confirmed according to Al Jazeera.
The brother-in-law of Muammar Gaddafi and long his senior intelligence official, Senussi is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the government’s crackdown of protests in early 2011. His location had been unknown since Tripoli fell in the hands of rebel forces last August. He is also implicated in many serious human rights violations during Gaddafi’s rule, including the June 1996 killing of more than 1,200 prisoners in Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison. Sanussi was also convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison in France for the 1989 bombing of a passenger jet over Niger.
“Mauritania should promptly surrender Libya’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Sanussi to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he is wanted for crimes against humanity,” Human Rights Watch said today.
The ICC investigation into the 2011 crackdown was approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970. While Mauritania is not a party to the ICC, the Council resolution urges all states to cooperate with the ICC, including the arrest and surrender of suspects.