Amnesty slams ‘flawed’ trial of Gaddafi officials

London, July 28 (IANS/AKI) Amnesty International on Tuesday deplored the “appalling” death sentences handed by a Libyan court to nine officials from the dictatorship of late strongman Muammar Gaddafi, including one of his sons, his intelligence chief and last prime minister.

The sentencing of over 30 Gaddafi-era officials in a trial “marred with serious flaws” highlighted Libya’s inability to bring people to justice according to international standards of fairness, the campaign group said.

“Instead of helping to establish the truth and ensuring accountability for serious violations during the 2011 armed conflict, this trial exposes the weakness of a criminal justice system which is hanging on by a thread in a war-torn country with no central authority,” said Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Programme director Philip Luther.

“The death sentences – the ultimate human rights violation – add further insult to injury, and should be overturned on appeal,” Luther added.

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the former military intelligence chief Abdallah al-Senussi and ex-premier Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi and six other former officials were handed the death penalty for war crimes and other offences during the 2011 rebellion against Gaddafi’s rule.

Twenty-three other former officials were given sentences ranging from life imprisonment to five years in prison, four people were acquitted, and one was referred for medical treatment and not sentenced, Amnesty reported.

Sadiq al-Sur, head of the investigation department of Libya’s attorney general, said lawyers could appeal against the sentences. Amnesty urged a full, independent and impartial review of the procedures and evidence used against them by Libya’s Supreme Court.

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