Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mauritania 'agrees to Senussi extradition'

Abdullah al-Senussi is also wanted in France and by the ICC in The Hague [Reuters] 
Mauritania has agreed that Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, arrested in Nouakchott last week, can be extradited to Libya, Libya's deputy prime minister has said.

The decision, if implemented, sets Libya on a collision course with France and the international war crimes court in The Hague, which also want to extradite Senussi, Gaddafi's right-hand man before the Libyan leader's overthrow and death in a popular revolt last year.

"I have met the president of Mauritania and he agreed to the extradition of Senussi to Libya," Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour wrote on Twitter on Tuesday in a comment confirmed as official by a Libyan government representative.
A Mauritanian security source said a deal was close but acknowledged pressure from Paris.

"We agreed to study their request favourably. It's almost a done deal but one should be careful. The French are applying lots of pressure," the source said on condition of anonymity.

"They say their claim takes priority because their arrest warrant went in first and because they helped with the arrest."

'Crimes against humanity'

Senussi, whose whereabouts had been unclear for months, was arrested at Mauritania's Nouakchott airport late on Friday when he stepped off a flight from Morocco. 

A senior Libyan delegation to Mauritania feted President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz for his "brave stance" in arresting Senussi and during talks at his presidency stressed that Senussi should be extradited to Libya.

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