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Excerpts from RT News, 29/7/2015: Gaddafi’s son, 8 other former government officials sentenced to death by ‘Libyan militia’
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi … has been sentenced to death in the country along with several other members of the former government. He was sentenced in absentia on Tuesday along with other senior members of the former Libyan government, including Abdullah Senussi, Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief, and two former prime ministers, al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi and Abuzaid Dorda.
There were a total of 32 defendants tried in Tripoli, with the rest 23 handed down lesser punishments of prison sentences and fines.
“I think that the world witnessed a legal farce, which showed that the judicial system in Libya is no more independent and impartial unfortunately,” Amal Al Akuri, wife of the sentenced Abuzaid Dorda told RT. “The trial took place in a military barrack controlled by militia with weapons pointed at the judges and lawyers.”
The trial was conducted in Tripoli by an unrecognized Islamist government that came to power after forcing a rival government out of the Libyan capital. The trial lasted just two days and can hardly be called fair, lawyer John Jones, who was involved in defending Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, told RT a day before the ruling.
“It was clearly a show trial in respect to all of the defendants,” Jones said. “It was basically a trial by militia.”
Earlier Tuesday, after the proceedings had just started, Jones said an atmosphere of intimidation hung over the entire proceedings.
“Lawyers were intimidated, the judges are intimidated, lawyers had had to leave the case,” he said.
Providing evidence of the alleged crime was not a priority either, he added.
“The prosecution is not calling any witnesses to be cross-examined. They are relying on interrogations, which are often tainted by torture. And the defense was only allowed two witnesses and no protection was given to them,” he said.
The UN human rights office said it was “deeply disturbed” by the death sentences.
“We had closely monitored the detention and trial and found that international fair trial standards had failed to be met,” it said in a statement.
The Tripoli authorities moved forward with the trial of Gaddafi-era officials in a bid to build more legitimacy, both domestically and with foreign powers, said Catherine Shakdam from the Beirut Centre for Middle East Studies.
“The message is that the want to play government, that they are here to say and that they are trying to rule Libya. If not by legitimacy, then they would to it de facto anyway,” she told RT. “They are trying to establish a sense of normality by trying to conduct legal affairs and state affairs.”
… … …
Saif was captured in November 2011 as he was trying to leave Libya. He was kept in custody by a local militia in the city of Zintan for months, as the militants refused requests from an internationally recognized government in Tripoli to hand him over for trial.
1/7/2011 ~ Gaddafi’s son: Libya like McDonald’s for NATO – fast war as fast food
UK spent 13 times more on bombing Libya than it paid to help rebuild
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