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Libya ex-intelligence chief to face trial in Mauritania

Former Libyan chief of intelligence Abdullah al-Senussi will face charges of illegally entering the country of Mauritania [Reuters report], an anonymous source told Reuters on Monday. Al-Senussi, who served under Muammar Gaddafi, was arrested [JURIST report] in Mauritania in March. A trial in the country will delay other international efforts to prosecute al Senussi. Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) [official website, in Arabic], the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] and France have all requested custody of al-Senussi. The ICC issued arrest warrants [text, PDF] for al-Senussi in June on charges of murder and persecution for planning attacks on civilians during the Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder], but he is also suspected of organizing mass rapes [JURIST report]. France requested custody because al-Senussi was sentenced to life in prison in France for his role in a 1989 plane bombing over Niger that killed 170 people, including 54 French citizens. Both members of Gadaffi's "inner circle" [JURIST report], al-Senussi and Gadaffi's son Saif al-Islam, have now been arrested.

In November ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo detailed the charges [JURIST report] against al-Senussi and Saif al-Islam to the UN Security Council [official website]. Saif al-Islam was arrested [JURIST report] in November and is currently in Libyan custody. Earlier in the month, Ocampo said that he has evidence against Saif al-Islam for his role in planning attacks on Libyan civilians [JURIST report]. According to Ocampo, Saif al-Islam hired mercenaries to assist him in carrying out his plans to attack civilians that protested the rule of his father.

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