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Lebanon court issues warrants for Gaddafi, other Libyan officials

[JURIST] Lebanon [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday charged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [official website; JURIST news archive] and six other officials with the 1978 disappearance of a prominent Lebanese cleric and issued warrants for their arrests. In Beirut, investigating magistrate Samih al-Haj charged Gaddafi with inciting the abduction of Imam Mussa Sadr [profile], who had traveled to Tripoli to meet Libyan officials. Libya [JURIST news archive] has denied involvement in the disappearance, claiming that Sadr left the country for Italy. The charges carry sentences ranging from seven years' imprisonment to the death penalty. AFP has more.

The arrest warrant was issued after Gaddafi failed to acknowledge a summons [PressTV report] to appear at the Lebanese Ministry of Justice [official website, in Arabic] for a court hearing earlier this year. The case had been closed until 2004, when Lebanon reopened it at the urging of the Hezbollah movement [party website; CFR backgrounder] and Sadr's relatives.

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